Musk Deer

The glands of a musk deer can sell for up to $45,000 on the black market.
Musk Deer Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Moschus moschiferus
Musk Deer Physical Characteristics
Brown, Grey
10-14 years
15-37 lbs.
Musk Deer Distribition

Fascinating Reality

“Humans quest this deer to utilize its musk in pricey fragrances.”

Musk Deer Recap

These are tiny deer with fang- like tusks that is belonging to Asia. It is a reluctant, anxious, and singular animal. Males generate a highly perfumed liquid throughout rutting (breeding) period. Throughout background, this species has actually been pursued to collect this musk for usage in producing pricey fragrances.

Musk Deer Realities

  • Musk deer do not have horns however have fang- like down- directing tusks.
  • The highly perfumed liquid males generate throughout breeding period is utilized to make pricey fragrances.
  • Musk deer are a singular, timid, and anxious species.
  • They oversleep hollows scratched right into the ground.
  • There are 7 species of musk deer, and all are endangered and reducing in numbers.

Musk Deer Scientific Name

There are 7 species of this deer. One species is the Siberian musk deer: Moschus moschiferus. Moschus” is a Latin acceptation “musk” and “ moschiferus” originates from Latin origins suggesting “musk” and “to bring.” This species becomes part of the Mammalia class and the Moschidae family. Although musk deer are called “deer” their family is very closely pertaining to Bovidae, that includes antelopes, cows, sheep, and goats.

The various other species and their scientific names are:

  • Towering musk deer – Moschus chrysogaster
  • Anhui musk deer – Moschus anhuiensis
  • Black musk deer – Moschus fuscus
  • Dwarf musk – deer – Moschus berezovskii
  • Kashmir musk deer – Moschus cupreus
  • White- bellied musk deer – Moschus leucogaster
  • Siberian musk deer – Moschus moschiferus

A typical name often utilized for all species of musk deer and water deer is “vampire deer” due to the distinct fang- like tusks of the males.


Unlike real deer, the musk deer does not have horns. Rather, like the Chinese water deer, the males have bigger top pooches that turn into bent down- directing tusks that appear like fangs. These expand throughout their lives and can get to 4 inches in size. Males additionally have a musk gland in a cavity near the genital areas that they utilize to spread out secretions as signals to various other males.

This animal is tiny and stocky. Their dimension varies from 31- 39 inches long and 20- 28 inches high at the shoulder, and they consider in between 15 and 37 pounds. They have long, strongly muscled back legs with much shorter, weak, and thinner forelegs. Their backs are curved, which permits them to release right into dives powered from their back legs, like rabbits.

They have big ears, a brief tail, and, unlike various other deer, a gall bladder. At birth they have short, soft, dark brownish hair with yellow-colored or white areas. At 2 years of ages they molt right into their grown-up winter months layer, with grayish brownish hair and long, rugged, and weak hair. The areas go away or come to be much less apparent in grownups.

Their unguis are long, vast, and aimed, providing added surface to maintain them from sinking in soft ground and snow, and aiding them obtain grip when climbing up in harsh hilly surface.

Animals That Have Tusks-deer
Male musk deer have bigger top pooches that turn into bent fang- like tusks.



This is a very singular and timid nighttime or crepuscular (energetic throughout golden) species. They move just over brief ranges. As a result of their singular nature, they do not develop herds. When confronted with a danger, they flee, jumping with effective back legs that are longer than their front legs.

Males construct “lavatories” by collecting dropped branches and plant life right into a circle and cleaning musk secretions on them to note their area. Scientists have the ability to utilize these to assist them determine musk deer varies, population numbers, and their chosen environments.

Musk deer can climb up likely tree trunks approximately 13 feet in the air to reach lichens to eat in the winter months.


The different species live spread throughout Asia, consisting of Russia, China, Mongolia, Korea, India, and Nepal. They favor sloping forested and towering scrub hilly landscapes remote from human negotiations. The Mountain range are an especially helpful environment for them.

They like to remain in the center latitudes, not over 5,250 ft. In the winter months, they move towards high inclines covered with coniferous woodlands, specifically locations with rock protrusions that can secure them from climate andpredators In the summer season, they roam to verdant woodland river valleys with combined coniferous and deciduous woodland. Unlike the Chinese water deer, which they look like, they do not such as marshy locations.

Paleontologists understand that this species as soon as varied throughout The United States and Canada, Europe, and Asia, however they have actually come to be extinct almost everywhere other than remote locations of Asia.


These deer are herbivores, consuming over 130 various plant species of fallen leaves, blossoms, lawns, mosses, and lichens. They favor quickly absorbable, healthy foods that are abundant in healthy protein and reduced in fiber. In the winter months, their diet consists of coniferous needles, leaves, buds, tree bark, and honeysuckle. In summer season, they favor buckwheat, geranium, different lawns, and spirea.

Predators, Dangers, and Conservation Status

Their all-natural predators are the lynx, wolverine, and yellow- throated marten. Nonetheless, humans have actually traditionally been the best hazard to them. Human population development has actually caused logging and loss of environment for this species. Nonetheless, the best hazard has actually originated from searching.

For over 5,000 years they have actually been pursued virtually to termination to acquire the scent glands of the male, which are utilized in Eastern standard medication and to generate pricey fragrances. Musk deer glands are among one of the most pricey animal items worldwide. They can cost as long as $45,000 per kg on the underground market. Nonetheless, considering that each deer generates just 28 grams of musk each time, acquiring an entire kg might call for eliminating 36 deer. It is approximated that from 1999- 2000 over 50,000 musk deer were eliminated by poachers.

Searching musk deer is currently prohibited in China, Mongolia, and South Korea, although sell musk deer items is enabled. In Russia, some areas allow searching with a permit and within allocations, while in various other locations searching musk deer is prohibited. Due to the fact that these limitations are seldom imposed, they have actually not enhanced their conservation status. In Russia and China, musk deer have actually been trained and farmed to enable the removal of musk without eliminating the animal. Nonetheless, the quantity and high quality of musk accumulated has actually been substandard, so searching is still chosen by those that sell musk.

In 2016, the Oriental business Sooam Biotech was apparently attempting to duplicate the Siberian musk deer to assist maintain the species from termination.

Reproduction, Infants, and Life Expectancy

Throughout the rutting (breeding) period, males proactively note their regions and utilize their tusks to eliminate each other for companions. The area of one male might overlap the feeding premises of a number of females.

Females come to be sexually fully grown at regarding 15.7 months. The breeding period begins in December and generally lasts 3 to 4 weeks. The gestation duration varieties from 185- 195 days. In the months of May and June Females generally bring to life one fawn, however occasionally, will certainly bring to life doubles. The young are small and stay as inactive as feasible throughout their initial month to assist them remain concealed from predators.

One uncommon habits of the female is that while her fawn suckles, she raises her back leg, which the fawn touches with its foreleg. This motion is often seen in courtship to name a few hoofed animals.

Siberian musk deer can meet two decades in bondage. The typical age in the wild is approximated at 10- 14 years.


The population of all species is unidentified, however the Siberian musk deer is approximated to have just 230,000 samplings staying in the wild. All selections in China might number 300,000+.

Similar Animals to the Musk Deer

  • Chinese water deer – The Chinese water deer is similar in dimension and appearance to the musk deer, and the males of both species have fang- like tusks rather than horns. Nonetheless, the musk deer chooses forested locations while the water deer suches as marshy locations near rivers.
  • Sambar deer The sambar is a lot bigger than the musk deer, however it inhabits a similar array in the foothills of the Indian Mountain range, has similar pigmentation, and is nighttime or crepuscular.  
  • Ibex The ibex is not a deer however belongs to the Bovidae family. The ibex is located in similar hilly Eastern environments as the musk deer and has a similar diet.

Relevant Animals:


  1., Available here:
  2., Available here:
  3. EOL: Encyclopedia of Life, Available here:
  4. Science Direct, Available here:

Relate animals

Abyssinian Guinea Pig

They are one of the oldest breeds of guinea pig

Ackie Monitor

The ackie monitor has a spiny tail which it uses as in self-defense.


The Albertonectes had the longest neck out of other Elasmosaurids.

American Bully

Though the American bully was bred to look intimidating, it makes an extremely friendly family pet!

Latest Animal News