White-tailed Deer the evolution experience

A white-tailed deer (also known as Odocoileus virginianus) is a mammal that can reach up to six feet in height and weighs about 110-300 lbs. It is the smallest members of the North America deer family and are found from Southern Canada to South America.

PHOTOGRAPH BY JAMES CUMMING

Classification:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Kingdom:Animalia⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Phylum:Chordata⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Class:Mammalia⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Order:Artiodactyla⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Family:Cervidae⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Genus:Odocoileus⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Species:O. Virginianus⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Habitat Description: White-tailed deer are generally found in the Midwestern parts of North America but they are highly adaptable species and could be found in several habitats. White-tailed deer though have a preference of living somewhere that includes meadows, forests...etc.

Morphological and Molecular Evidence

Some of the closest relatives of the white tailed deer are the mule deer, moose, and the elk deer. Some of the common similarities between the Mule Deer and the white tailed deer is the breeding time. Al though they have their similarities, they have differences as well. They all look similar, despite the size they have, their color of their tail and much more.White tailed deer and Mule Deer have different metatarsal gland lengths and are considered sympatric or parapatric which can prove that the species have their differences. Moose and Elk are bigger and heavier deer compared to the white tailed deer. But they are herbivores and prefer similar habitats to live in. The two species are in the genus Odocoileus. White-tailed deer and mule deer have nearly identical mtDNA. The mule deer is a good example of a species rapidly evolving from hybridization between two extant species. The white tail deer has survived for so long due to its fitness. In other words, the White Tail Deer is adapts very easily and isn't picky about it's environment. In many of the its year of survival, the white tail deer adapted stronger leg muscles, larger antlers,color changing fur and warning displays.

Homologous Structures

Structure of Deer

A homologous structure is an example of an organ or bone that appears in different animals, underlining anatomical commonalities demonstrating descent from a common ancestor. Horses and white tailed deer have similar structures but their legs are their main focus that allows them to do the basic things such as walking and running. But it can also swim, run at an incredible speed and can jump. The deer has evolved to do many of these things, but today it helps the deer survive in order to avoid it's predator and to survive in general.

Vestigial Structures

A Vestigial structures is a structure that has no apparent function and appears to be residual parts from a past ancestor. A white tailed deer doesn't have any vestigial structure.

Transitional Fossils

These skeletons have shown how the white tailed deer has evolved and adapted.A transitional fossil is any fossilized remains of a life form that exhibits traits common to both an ancestral group and its derived descendant group. They show evolution because it shows the way the animal evolved in order to survive the specific era or time period it was in.

Comparative embryology

Embryology for a White Tailed Deer

The gestation period for a white tailed deer is 201 days, and in those 201 days the baby deer, a fawn, is developed and formed in the mother's stomach. When the mother finally gives birth to the fawn, the fawn depends its survival on its mother. who will provide milk and protection. Over the years, the traits of a fawn develops and forms to adapt to the lifestyle it will soon have or the habitat it lives.

Credits

http://www.nwf.org/Wildlife/Wildlife-Library/Mammals/Mule-Deer.aspx

https://forum.americanexpedition.us/mule-deer-information-facts-photos-and-artwork

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deer

Credits:

Created with images by Fyn Kynd Photography - "White-tailed Deer family"

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