Chordates • Earth.com

Water chevrotain

(Hyemoschus aquaticus)

Description

The water chevrotain (Hyemoschus aquaticus),also known as the fanged deer,is a small ruminant found in tropical Africa.It is the largest of the ten species of chevrotains,basal even-toed ungulates which are similar to deer but are barely larger than small dogs.Unusually for most vertebrates,female water chevrotains are larger than males.On average,they weigh over two kilograms more than the 10 kg males.Their body length is about 85 cm,and their shoulder height is around 35 cm.Water chevrotains have a rich,sleek red-brown coat on top,and the underside of the coat is white.On the body,there is a pattern of white stripes that run horizontally from the shoulder to the tail,with vertical rows of white stripes in the back.The chin,throat and chest are covered in very course hair with a pattern of white V shapes.The back end of the water chevrotain has many powerful muscles and is higher than the shoulders,which makes the body slope downward.The head is held down toward the ground while walking,which allows the water chevrotain to navigate easily through thickets of dense brush.There is a layer of thick,reinforced skin on the dorsal surface,which protects the back from injuries caused by the thick brush.The legs look short and thin compared to the bulky body,and the hooves are similar to a pig’s.The tail is short with a fluffy white underside that resembles a cotton ball.

Taxonomic tree:

Domain:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum:
Class: Mammalia
Order:Artiodactyla
Family:Tragulidae
Genus:Hyemoschus
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