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#157 Vietnam Mouse Deer

Data Deficient

I am doing animals classified as "Data Deficient" for the rest of November. That does not mean that they aren't critically endangered or even extinct, it simply means there has not been a survey done to find accurate numbers.

These are also called silver-backed chevrotain. Mouse deer are not mice, and not deer. They are the smallest hooved animals though. This type is about 10 pounds. They were described in 1910 based on 4 specimens. Then, nothing until in 1990 a dead one was found. It was questioned if that was an authentic one in fact. Then, in 2019 a lot of camera traps were set up, and they captured them multiple times. They have never been studied live by a scientist. Unfortunately they are illegally hunted, accidentally caught in bushmeat snares, killed by dogs, leopards, and pythons. It is completely unknown how many of them there are but assumed that they are at risk of extinction. Since they've never been studied, it is just assumed they have similarities to other mouse deer. If they are like others, it is likely they stomp their feet up to 7 times a second when upset to make a drumming noise. They could well hide underwater for more than 5 minutes when threatened. The females probably spend most of their life pregnant because others can get pregnant just an hour and a half after giving birth. Meanwhile the males have cool fangs they use when fighting others.

Seriously, the most exciting part of this project for me has been all the things I learn when researching the animals I'm painting. I've known that most of the animals I've painted exist, but not all. I certainly never knew some of the facts about these guys. They seem almost like a kind of thrown together animal like a platypus. They are the size of a rabbit, but have hooves, have fangs, long skinny faces, and eyes that are so big it is almost cartoonish. I certainly hope they can get the protection they need.

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