Our next stop in our notebooking safari across Asia takes us to Pakistan. If you’re new to the notebooking safari, visit our first stop here.
Are you ready to see if we can spot the next animal on our safari today? This one isn’t rare or endangered; as a matter of fact, you can spot them roaming in countries all over South Asia. But it’s not an animal people all over the world know about like horses or dogs or pigs. It’s called the muntjac, and once you meet it, you’ll see how much it reminds you of animals you already know. Come with me.
There are several different types of muntjacs in the wild, but the one I want to show you today is called the Indian muntjac or the Southern red muntjac. It has another nickname, too, but I’m going to wait until you see it to tell you what it is. The Indian muntjac lives in many different habitats, but its favorite foods are plants, dead leaves, flowers, and seeds. It has even been known to eat produce from the garden when the gardener isn’t looking! There is a clearing up ahead; I think we’ll be able to spot one there.
Look, I was right. Up there in the clearing—do you see the brown animal about the size of a small deer? That’s the Indian muntjac. Can you see its antlers? They stick up from the bony ridge on the muntjac’s face. Even though the antlers look scary, the male muntjac actually uses its teeth when it fights. He has long upper canine teeth that are almost like small tusks.
Uh, oh. I think the wind is shifting. If the muntjac gets a whiff of our scent, he won’t like it. Wait—listen, do you hear that? It sounds like a dog barking, but it’s not. It’s the muntjac. That’s the muntjac’s call and the reason for its other nickname, the “barking deer.” He caught our scent and he’s warning any other muntjacs that might be in the area. We might as well head back for home. That’s the last muntjac we’ll see today.
You can see a picture of the Indian (or Southern red) muntjac here.
Using the information on this page, answer the following questions:
True or False:
- The longest time a muntjac has been observed “barking” is thirty-eight minutes.
- The Indian muntjac is common in Mongolia.
- There are at least eleven known species of muntjacs living today.
Research challenge: Create a fact file on the Indian muntjac. How large does it grow on average? How many young does it usually have at one time? How much does an average adult muntjac weigh?
For a free downloadable copy of the entire Asian animals notebooking safari series (31 units total) plus a notebooking page for each one, sign up below.