- The White-tailed deer is a deer that is tan in the summer and grayish brown in winter. It has white on its throat, around its eyes and nose, on its stomach and on the underside of its tail. The male has antlers.
- The white-tailed deer can be found in southern Canada and most of the United States. They live in dry or swampy wooded areas. They love water. The white tailed-deer belongs to the family of Cervidae.
- They have been living in Ohio since the end of the ice age.It is approximately 3.5 million years old and the oldest living deer species.
Species: O. virginianus
2. The white-tailed deer has many close relatives which includes other deer, moose, elk, and reindeer. The bodies of deer, moose, zebras, and horses are very similar, and these animals are very closely related. The similarities in their DNA shows that they came from a common ancestor and had a mutation in their DNA which caused differences.
DNA COMPARISON OF DEER, CARIBOU AND MOOSE
3. A homologous structure is an example of an organ or bone that is present in different animals having a similar structure, but different function. Homologus structures show how animals evolved to have different functions and structures.
Homologous structures of a white tailed deer
4. Deer had two fingers at the back of their feet called "dewclaws". They are not used for support while walking. They mostly don't make contact with the ground.They are smaller than their hoofs. Deer in the past used these claws for hunting, but now they don't hunt as much.
5. Transitional Fossils show how an organism evolved from the ancient ancestor and the recent decent. New structures may have formed or old ones might have vanished. The deer teeth now are little different from the ancient deer. They developed higher crowns and so are now adapted to partial feeding of herbs. Lower jaws grew longer to develop a wide opening between fangs and premolars. Incisors are still wide, adapted to grazing softer vegetation.
Ancient deer teeth and today's deer teeth
6. Comparative embryology compares the embryos of different animals to show how they are related.The embryo of the deer looks similar to many other animals. This shows that all animals evolved from a common ancestor but later changed.