Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Black-tailed Deer

We have several deer that fearlessly forage through our Olympia backyard. Erika and I were immediately impressed with their black tails. Most biologists consider these deer to be a race of Mule Deer. Two subspecies of Black-tailed Deer inhabit coastal areas from Alaska to Northern California. Black-tailed and Mule deer are known to hybridize. The situation is a bit confusing, since the mitochondria DNA is more similar among Mule and White-tailed deer than to the mDNA of Black-tailed Deer. Hybrids between Mule and White-tailed deer are known but appear to suffer diminished survival rates (Wikipedia)..

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