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Korean water deer

Hydropotes inermis argyropus


The water deer (Hydropotes inermis) is a small deer superficially more similar to a musk deer than a true deer. Native to China and Korea, there are two subspecies: the Chinese water deer (Hydropotes inermis inermis) and the Korean water deer (Hydropotes inermis argyropus). Despite its lack of antlers and certain other anatomical anomalies—including a pair of prominent tusks (downward-pointing canine teeth), it is classified as a cervid. Its unique anatomical characteristics have caused it to be classified in its own genus (Hydropotes) as well as its own subfamily (Hydropotinae).[2] However, a study of mitochondrial cytochrome b sequences placed it near Capreolus within an Old World section of the subfamily Capreolinae.[3] Its prominent tusks (elongated canines), similar to those of musk deer, have led to both being colloquially named vampire deer in English-speaking areas to which they have been imported.


They inhabit the land alongside rivers, where they are protected from sight by the tall reeds and rushes. They are also seen on mountains, swamps, grasslands, and even open cultivated fields.


Water deer are proficient swimmers, and can swim several miles to reach remote river islands. Chinese Water Deer are now located in United Kingdom, France and Argentina, and even some in the United States.

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Spotted by

충북, Republic of Korea

Spotted on Sep 6, 2015
Submitted on Sep 6, 2015


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