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Whitetail deer are able to survive in a variety of terrestrial habitats, from the big woods of northern Maine to the deep saw grass and hammock swamps of Florida. They also inhabit farmlands, brushy areas and such desolate areas of the west such as the cactus and thorn brush deserts of southern Texas and Mexico. Ideal whitetail deer habitat would contain dense thickets (in which to hide and move about) and edges (which furnish food).
There are 16 subspecies of white-tailed deer in North America. Subspecies are distinguished by geographic location, body size, coloration, antler growth, and physiological, biochemical, and behavioral differences .
State Animals and/or Mammals: White-tailed Deer
|Arkansas White-tailed Deer||1993|
|Illinois White-tailed Deer||1982|
|Michigan White-tailed Deer||1997|
|Mississippi White-tailed Deer||April 12,
|Nebraska White-tailed Deer||February 26,
|New Hampshire White-tailed Deer||1983|
|Ohio White-tailed Deer||1988|
|Oklahoma White-tailed Deer|
|Pennsylvania White-tailed Deer||October 2,
|South Carolina White-tailed Deer||1972|
|Wisconsin White-tailed Deer||1957|
|Utah Rocky Mountain elk
|Vermont White-tailed Deer
The white-tail is depicted on the state flag and seal.
|White-tailed deer is the most popular of official state animals and/or mammals, representing eleven states, from New Hampshire south to Mississippi and west to Nebraska and Oklahoma. The only other species representing more states is the honeybee, the state insect of at sixteen states.|
Deer make up the family Cervidae of the order Artiodactyla. The European elk, or moose, is classified as Alces alces. South American pudus make up the genus Pudu, and musk deer the genus Moschus. The Chinese water deer is classified as Hydropotes inermis, and the caribou, or reindeer, as Rangifer tarandus. The red deer make up the genus Cervus, and the roe deer the genus Capreolus. The white-tailed deer, or Virginia deer, is classified as Odocoileus virginianus; the mule, or black-tailed, deer as Odocoileus hemionus; and the American elk, or wapiti, as Cervus elaphus.
The genus name Odocoileus is from the Greek words odon (tooth) and koilos (hollow) or "hollow tooth," in reference to the depressions in the crown of the molar teeth. The Latinized species name virginianus (of Virginia) refers to the state from which the species was first collected and described.
Taxonomic Hierarchy: White-tailed Deer
Species: O. virginianus