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Deer Mouse (Chevrotain)

Deer Mouse (Chevrotains)

The nine species of chevrotain, also known as mouse deer, make up the family Tragulidae. Chevrotains are small, secretive creatures, now found only in the tropical forests of Africa, India, Sri Lanka, and South-east Asia. They are the only living members of the infraorder Tragulina.

The word 'chevrotain' itself is French, and can be translated as 'little goat'. The Telugu name for the animal is "Jarini Pandi", which literally means "a deer and a mouse". The Konkani (Mangalore, India) name for it is "Barinka"

The Sinhala name meeminna (Sri Lankan sub species Moschiola memmina) roughly translates to 'mouse-like deer'.

Chevrotains are shy, solitary, evening- and night-active vegetarians. They stand about 30centimetres (12 inches) at the shoulder and characteristically seem to walk on the hoof tips of their slender legs. The fur is reddish brown with spots and stripes of paler colour or white; the underside is pale. The males have small, curved tusks protruding downward out of the mouth.



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