Indian Mouse Deer and Chousingha

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Indian Mouse Deer and Chousingha Blog Image


As part of an animal exchange programme recently executed by the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park (IGZP) with Kakatiya Zoological Park in Warangal, IGZP has received two new species, Mouse Deer and Chousingha.

Key Facts about Indian Mouse Deer

  • The Indian Mouse Deer or Spotted Chevrotain is the smallest deer in India and is highly nocturnal.
  • Scientific Name: Moschiola indica
  • Distribution:
    • It is endemic to the Indian Subcontinent.
    • It is mainly found in peninsular India, with some old records from Nepal.
    • Sri Lanka has a separate species called the spotted chevrotain (Moschiola meminna).
    • Within India, it is commonly encountered in a number of forest areas along the Western Ghats, in the Eastern Ghats up to Orissa, and in the forests of central India.
  • Features:
    • It is small, 25-30 cm at shoulder height, and weighs from two to four kg. 
    • The fur color of the Indian spotted chevrotain is dark brown with white underparts.
    • There are four or five light rows of white spots on the back. Males of this species have tusk-like upper canines.
    • A unique feature of this group is that instead of a four-chambered stomach like in other ruminants, they have a three-chambered stomach.
    • It forages on the forest floor for fruits, roots, leaves, and herbs.
    • It has occasionally been observed eating insects, crustaceans, and even small mammals.
  • Conservation Status:
    • IUCN: Least Concern

Key Facts about Chousingha

  • The four-horned antelope, or chousingha, is a small antelope found in India and Nepal.
  • Scientific Name: Tetracerus quadricornis 
  • Distribution:
    • It is endemic to the Indian subcontinent.
    • They are found in woodland areas throughout India.
  • Features:
    • They are the smallest antelopes found in Asia.
    • As the name suggests, Chousingha can be identified by the four horns, as against other bovids, which have two horns.
    • They are usually diurnal and solitary by nature; however they can be spotted in loose groups of three to four.
    • Animals are sedentary, inhabiting more-or-less the same region throughout their lives.
    • They have a yellowish-brown to reddish coat and are slender, with small legs and a short tail.
  • Conservation Status:
    • IUCN Red List: Vulnerable

Q1) What are crustaceans?

Crustaceans are invertebrates with a hard exoskeleton (carapace), a segmented body that is bilaterally symmetrical, more than four pairs of jointed appendages ("legs") and an open circulatory system (the "blood" does not flow in a closed loop). Crustaceans make up a very large group of the Arthropods which include the crabs, lobsters, crayfish, shrimp, krill etc. Crustaceans are found in a wide range of habitats - most are free-living freshwater or marine animals, but some are terrestrial (e.g. woodlice), some are parasitic (e.g. fish lice) and some do not move (e.g. barnacles).

Source: Visakhapatnam zoo gets new species from Warangal zoo as part of animal exchange programme