CLASSIFICATION OF MUSK DEER : MOSCHUS MOSCHIFEROUS

PHYLUM :- CHORDATA (Notochord, dorsal tubular nerve cord present and gill slits present )

Group :- CRANIATA ( Definite head. Cranium with brain present )

Sub-phylum :- VERTEBRATA ( vertebral column present)

Division :- GNATHOSTOMATA ( Jaws and paired appendages present )

Super class :-  TETRAPODA ( Paired limbs, lungs, bony skeleton and cornified skin).

Class :-MAMMALIA ( Body covered with hairs. females have mammary glands ).

Sub-class :- THERIA ( Viviparous ).

Infra class :- EUTHERIA ( Placental mammals, vagina single ).

Order :- ARTIODACTYLA (Even-toed hoofed mammals).

Genus :  Moschus

Species : moschiferous

GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION

The musk deer lives in mountainous regions from Siberia to the Himalayas. Also in equatorial rain forests of Africa. Distributed in India and Malaysia. 

HABIT AND HABITAT

Elusive, solitary and nocturnal, living very close to water. Good
swimmers. Prefer to live in high mountain forests and bursh lands. Shy animals, active mainly at dusk and dawn.

GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF MOSCHUS MOSCHIFEROUS : MUSK DEER

  •  Commonly called as Musk deer.
  • Body very elegant with maximum height 20 inches. Body divisible into head, neck, trunk, chest, abdomen and tail.
  • Head is small containing conical snout, small eyes, and erect ears and nostril.
  • Upper canines of male strongly developed forming tusks upto 8 cms long which protrude below jaw and used for fighting.
  • Mature males contain an abdominal musk gland which secretes a waxy substance, called as Kasturi, used in medicines and perfumes.
  • Even-toed ruminants. They chew cud.
  • Fore legs and hind legs well developed.
  • They are solitary animals and maintain well-defined territories, which they scent mark with their caudal glands. Musk deer are generally shy, and either nocturnal or crepuscular.
  • Female deer give birth to a single fawn after about 150–180 days. 
  • Musk deer are the only surviving members of the Moschidae, a family with a fossil record extending over 25 million years to the late Oligocene.

SPECIAL FEATURES

Musk deers are famous for Kasturi. Kasturi is a very costly item. For Kasturi musk deer are hunted. The musk from that organ is valued for use in perfumes and soaps.

IDENTIFICATION

 It contains ‘musk gland’ and all above features, hence it is Musk deer.

MOSCHUS MOSCHIFEROUS : MUSK DEER

REFERENCES

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