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Thread: Something Unkown about Kakkar

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    Default Something Unkown about Kakkar

    The Canine teeth of Muntjac or Barking Deer or Kakkar, inferring they are Omnivorous. After photographing 100's of barking deer over past 10 years, succeeded to click the canines of barking deer last visit.

    Till date have never met a person who is aware that barking deer are omnivorous, rather everyone was surprised, when I told them that they are supposedly opportunistic predators too, as per some researchers.

    As per record their diet consist of grass, thorn bushes, leaves, bark, twigs, herbs, fruit, sprouts, seeds, tender shoots, bird eggs and small warm-blooded animals.

    I have never observed though and needs to be confirmed in India if any one had observed these deer eating egg or meat. In cold climate where vegetation decimates during snowfall, it has been observed these deer resort to meat and eggs laid on ground, even evidence is there they steal morsel from kills of regular carnivore. Some months back it was recorded chital were munching bones from long dead caracas, also chitals have been observed to eat dead crab shell for calium, but Chitals do not have canines hence cannot hunt. And Barking deer posses canines that grow from upper jaw is known to hunt small mammals.

    Appreciate views and comments

    Nikon D4s, Nikon 300 F4 FL lens, Shot @ 300 F5, ISO 2000, 1/500s. Corbett
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Interesting. Good that you could capture it displaying its canine. Those would definitely help them to hunt small prey. There would be some observation about this behaviour done by Mr.M.Krishnan. I think maybe Saktida would be able to shed more light on this behavior. We can also see the way it is using its tongue to clean its eyes. Nicely captured. Thanks for sharing.

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    I would not believe wikipedia descriptions about muntjac eating eggs and small animals. Wish to know which researcher has documented such behaviour. Except for pigs who are omnivorous, others are herbivorous.

    I am quoting from Mammals of South Asia, Volume 2, Edited By AJT Johnsingh and Nima Manjrekar and this article is written by Cyrille Barrette.

    "Males have well developed upper canines that protrude about 2 cm from the maxillary bone, and are usually visible even when the animal’s mouth is shut (Chapman 1997). These teeth are pointed, sharp and apparently ‘hinged’ )Aitchison 1946). These ‘tusks’, along with the antlers, are used in male-male combat (Barrette 1977b) and are more important to a male’s reproductive success than his antlers are (Chapman et al. 1997). Males are believed to defend themselves against dogs with their tusks (Brooke 1874), Dansie 1970). One leg of an animal keeper in Forest Research Institute, Dehradun was cut from knee to ankle by a male barking deer that had been newly introduced in the deer enclosure. (page 179-180)

    Given its small body size, a muntjac needs a small absolute quantity of food per unit time, but a large quantity relative to its body size. Also, its food must be highly digestible, i.e., low in fibre and rich in protein or sugar (Jarman 1974, Hoffmann and Stewart 1972, Hofmann 1985, Kay 1987). Therefore, muntjacs feed on fruits, buds, freshly sprouted leaves and seeds (but not large ones; Dinerstein 1989). They are thus neither browsers nor grazers but nibblers or gleaners (Barrette 1977c). they will occasionally graze near the forest cover but only on immature, actively growing grass blades (Barrette 1977c, Jackson et al. 1977, Harding 1986, Dinerstein 1987, Champan et al. 1993). (Page 182) "

    Cheers,
    Sabyasachi

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    The photograph is rarest of rare photographs not so because the canines of the upper jaw captured therein but for recording and testifying to Krishnan's intense observation of 'antonishingly long tongue' of the Barking Deer.

    The chief weapons of offence are their long upper tusks. They are not fixed firmly into the jaw and can be moved.

    Krishnan observed:

    It eats grass shoots and herbs selectively, leafy twigs and is very much fond of the fruit of Melia composita, intensely bitter to human taste ( Orissa Jan 16 and 18, 1969).

    Once he had seen a male Barking Deer walking up to the termite nest putting its muzzle to the freshly dug mound with termites crawling on and licking and swallowing something. The deer's muzzle was hidden by a ridge and he could not actually see what it was licking up.

    His companion shouted- "Look at the Jungle Sheep eating white ants !" The deer vanished immediately.

    Krishnan missed the chance of himself concluding what exactly it was licking. He went and even tested the crumbled earth but found it not saline but only muddy. "Not proven" again- he wrote.
    .
    (For further details: Natural History :Country Notebook: M. Krishnan The Sunday Statesman 29 Nov and 13 Dec 2015)

    Thanks for sharing. SaktiWild

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    Dear Sabyasachi please reference: https://www.muntjacdeer.co.uk/

    Where it is mentioned by John Reeves
    The population now found in most of southern England is the Reeves’ Muntjac (muntiacus reevesi) named after John Reeves, who was an inspector with The East India Tea Company in 1812. Introduction to England by the Duke of Bedford about 1900 is widely accepted as the source of our population.

    Through a series of escapes and deliberate releases, together with their prodigious breeding, high numbers of Muntjac pose a serious threat to woodland management; eating almost any plant material that grows within their browse line which in turn impacts upon the natural habitat of many species of plants, insects and small birds.

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    Dear Saktida, Thank you for pointing the long tongue is more important for devouring insects and ants. John Reeves did observe this, similarly as Krishnan did, while serving in East India company. And Reeves also mentioned about small birds.

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    Debasis Bhai, Krishnan has seen the Barking Deer licking and swallowing something in the freshly dug up termite mould but could not come to any conclusion about what exactly it was licking up because the muzzle was hidden by the ridge. Had not his companion shouted he would have seen the muzzle clearly and could record what exactly it was swallowing. He did not conclude about the deer's eating ants and insects since he had not seen with his own eyes in his JNFellowship report (period1959-70). Let us wait for his Country Notebook written till 1996. Kind regards, SaktiWild

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    Dear Debasis,
    I checked the link that you have posted. There is one comment in that link by some person saying that Muntjac eats carrion. There is no proof given. We need some documented evidences, else it would be like propagating some myths which hunters of previous era propagated. I couldn't find any research article regarding Muntjac eating flesh/carrion. Its stomach structure doesn't lead us to believe it will eat flesh. So if it is true, then I am sure soon documentary proof will be found given the large number of amateur photographers infested forests.

    Cheers,
    Sabyasachi

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    Very beautiful and the moment captured very excellently.

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    Great closeup and interesting documentation.The discussion regarding the eating habits of the muntjac is indeed thought provoking.

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    Some more information from National Geography to make it interesting.
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2...decomposition/

    This is from EOL
    As per Encyclopedia Of Life, Muntjac's are omnivorous, feeding on grass,fruits, shoots, seeds, birds' eggs as well as small animals. It sometimes displays even scavenging behavior, feeding on carrion.

    In my view, in India someone needs to do in depth research on these prehistoric deer. Also one interesting factor is Kakar has the minimum number of chromosomes, in fact lower than some low calorie fruits. Surpisingly they differ between male and female muntjac too, male has only 7 and female 6, do not understand how the genes are passed to the off springs.

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    I must dig out my book by schaller perhaps there is some mention of it in there.


    The Deer And The Tiger A Study Of Wildlife In India : Schaller George B
    https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.553304
    Jan 20, 2017 - Book Source: Digital Library of India Item 2015.553304dc.contributor.author: Schaller George B,dc.date.accessioned: ...

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    Dear Debasis,
    Chital are known to eat crabs. George Schaller has mentioned it in his book "The Deer & The Tiger". He writes "Chital in the Sundarbans apparently eat small red crabs of an unidentified species, the remains of which have been found in the rumen (Stanford, 1951)". Chital and barking deer are different species so we can't infer from Chital's habits. Nevertheless, there is a lot which we don't know and more funds should flow into scientific observations.

    Cheers,
    Sabyasachi

    Quote Originally Posted by Debasis Bose View Post
    Some more information from National Geography to make it interesting.
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2...decomposition/

    This is from EOL
    As per Encyclopedia Of Life, Muntjac's are omnivorous, feeding on grass,fruits, shoots, seeds, birds' eggs as well as small animals. It sometimes displays even scavenging behavior, feeding on carrion.

    In my view, in India someone needs to do in depth research on these prehistoric deer. Also one interesting factor is Kakar has the minimum number of chromosomes, in fact lower than some low calorie fruits. Surpisingly they differ between male and female muntjac too, male has only 7 and female 6, do not understand how the genes are passed to the off springs.

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    Hi John,
    I have George Schaller's The Deer & The Tiger and didn't remember anything about barking deer, so immediately pulled out my copy to check. There is no mention about barking deer at all. Among herbivores he has written chapters on Deer, Blackbuck, Sambar, Gaur but hasn't covered barking deer.

    Cheers,
    Sabyasachi

    Quote Originally Posted by John Gryphon View Post
    I must dig out my book by schaller perhaps there is some mention of it in there.


    The Deer And The Tiger A Study Of Wildlife In India : Schaller George B
    https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.553304
    Jan 20, 2017 - Book Source: Digital Library of India Item 2015.553304dc.contributor.author: Schaller George B,dc.date.accessioned: ...

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    Hello Sabyasachi
    I bought GS book 30 odd years ago and confess to reading it front to back and put it back on my bookshelf.Its time to dig it out again!

    Until todays posts I never knew that what Jim Corbett called a kakar was in fact a Muntjac.

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