Hamster-sized deer born in Spain

April 25, 2014
A Java mouse-deer cub, one of the world's smallest hoofed animals, at the Fuengirola Biopark, near Malaga on April 25, 2014

The latest specimen of the world's tiniest deer—a rare species no bigger than a hamster—has been born in a nature park in southern Spain, conservationists said on Friday.

The baby "deer-mouse" became just the 43rd living member of this species in Europe when it was born on April 9 in the Fuengirola Biopark near Malaga.

Originating in southeastern Asia, the deer is so called because its tiny dimensions and big eyes make it look more like a rodent, despite its tiny hooves.

At birth the baby—which has not yet been named because it is still too small to determine its sex—weighed about 100 grams (nearly four ounces).

But "it is growing very fast", a spokeswoman for the nature park, Asun Portillo, told AFP on Friday.

The -mouse typically grows to about the size of a rabbit and weighs about a kilo (about two pounds) when fully grown.

"It is doing very well, in its enclosure, although it cannot suckle yet and cannot feed by itself."

Its mother has lived in Fuengirola since 2007 and its father was brought over from Lille, France a year ago, the park said.

A Java mouse-deer cub, one of the world's smallest hoofed animals, and its mother at the Fuengirola Biopark, near Malaga, on April 25, 2014

The survival of the , known by scientists as "tragulus javanicus", is threatened by deforestation in its native southeast Asia, the park said.

Explore further: Hormone levels linked to survival of deer calves, study suggests

Related Stories

Former Iron Curtain still barrier for deer

April 23, 2014

The Iron Curtain was traced by an electrified barbed-wire fence that isolated the communist world from the West. It was an impenetrable Cold War barrier—and for some inhabitants of the Czech Republic it still is.

Deer proliferation disrupts a forest's natural growth

March 8, 2014

By literally looking below the surface and digging up the dirt, Cornell researchers have discovered that a burgeoning deer population forever alters the progression of a forest's natural future by creating environmental havoc ...

Recommended for you

Cow gene study shows why most clones fail

December 9, 2016

It has been 20 years since Dolly the sheep was successfully cloned in Scotland, but cloning mammals remains a challenge. A new study by researchers from the U.S. and France of gene expression in developing clones now shows ...

Blueprint for shape in ancient land plants

December 9, 2016

Scientists from the Universities of Bristol and Cambridge have unlocked the secrets of shape in the most ancient of land plants using time-lapse imaging, growth analysis and computer modelling.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.