How Key Deer Differ
From Other White-tail Deer
Besides their small size, Key deer have evolved in some ways
that are behaviorally, taxonomically, genetically and physically distinct
from all the other white-tails in North America.
For instance, although fresh water is crucial to their long-term survival,
the deer are able to drink fairly saline water--as
much as 50 percent sea water--for short periods when necessary. They
also eat mangrove leaves, which are very salty.
deer reproductive habits are unusual, too. The does
very seldom twin and there are no records of triplets; northern white
tails commonly twin and triplets do occur.
The ratio of males to females is much higher in the
Keys, though what purpose this serves is not known. Bucks, too, are
the predominant road kills.
Key deer do not gang up, they do live in extended families
consisting of a doe and several years of her offspring. And occasionally
two does will run together if they are related, whereas it's common
for groups of five or six Northern does to run together with their young.
Key Deer Are Endangered
to See Key Deer
Month To Photograph Key Deer
Deer Habits and Habitat
Neighbors: People and Key Deer
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