Human Interest

Java mouse-deer, world’s smallest hoofed animal, born at Spain zoo

Malaga, Spain, Aug 26 (EFE).- A Java mouse-deer, the smallest hoofed animal in the world, was born at the Bioparc zoo near the Spanish city of Malaga, the organization announced Friday.

The calf weighs around 200 grams and is already some 30% of the size of its mother.

The species grows very fast and in just a few months can triple its weight up to 1.8 kilograms.

Java mouse-deers can reproduce at any time of the year and gestation lasts four and a half months.

The smallest ungulate in the world is considered a ruminant because it has a digestive system similar to that of cows, sheep and goats, which chew food they regurgitate to absorb more nutrients.

Despite being included in the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), scientific knowledge of the mouse-deer is limited partly due to its small size, which makes field work in its natural habitat challenging. EFE


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