Mouse Deer (Tragulus Javanicus)

Mouse Deer (Tragulus Javanicus)

- in Mammal, Fauna

ITS–G-97-3-KANCILThe Mouse Deer (Tragulus javanicus),  called in Indonesian  Kancil is different from deer in that it does not have antlers. It has instead large tusk like canine teeth in its upper jaw which it can use for self defence. It is a small animal with a body 30 centimetres, 50 centimetres long, and a tail eight centimetres long.

Found in the forests of Java, Sumatra and Kalimantan it may be a close relative to the barking deer or Muncak (Muntiacus mu­ntjak) for it has both the mouse deer’s canine teeth and the stag’s antlers. Mouse Deer are nocturnal and usually solitary, feeding by browsing on shrubs or rooting in the soil for fallen fruit. They rarely make noise, except when in distress.

Mouse deer are very popular in Indonesia and Malaysia because they are often the main protagonist of local folktales. In the tales, it is described as the most intelligent animal in the forest that easily outwits big animals, including elephants, tigers and crocodiles.. In reality, it is a weak animal that can only defend itself with its canine teeth.

Scientific Classification:

Kingdom         : Animalia

Phylum            : Chordata

Class                : Mammalia

Order               : Artiodactyla

Family             : Tragulidae

Genus              : Tragulus

Species            : T. Javanicus

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