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Formosan Sambar Deer, Cervus unicolor swinhoei
Subject: Formosan Sambar Deer, Cervus unicolor swinhoei
PhotoA13-Formosan Sambar Deer, Cervus unicolor swinhoei.jpg
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Formosan Sambar Deer, Cervus unicolor swinhoei

Formosan sambar
Scientific name: Cervus unicolor swinhoei

The Formosan sambar is the largest native herbivore in Taiwan, with a head and trunk approximately 178cm in length, a tail about 15cm long, and a shoulder height of up to 1.2m for males and 80 cm for females. Both males and females have facial glands under their eyes which, on males, are opened when angry or excited. Males also have beautiful antlers that do not begin to branch until they are two years old. Each antler has three points and two branches and is re-grown every year after the dried skin has hardened and been shed. The Formosan sambar lacks upper front teeth, but does have small upper canine teeth.

The Formosan sambar is herbivorous and feeds primarily on leaves and tender grass. In the winter, they have a dark brown coat with tawny head and ears, whereas in the summer, their winter coat changes to a light tawny color. Although they are social animals, some males move about singly. Formosan sambars prefer forests, though they also roam in the high mountains and on the grasslands in the vicinity of streams or other sources of water. They are most active in the early morning or at dusk. Skillful swimmers, they often gather near bodies of water to feed or for other activities. They are not fast runners and will simply run into dense forests to hide whenever they sense any danger.

Formosan sambars are an endemic subspecies to Taiwan that are usually found in virgin forests at elevations of 300-1500m.

Source: Taiwan's Ecolocgical Conservation -

Scientific Name: Rusa unicolor (Kerr, 1792)
Common Names: Sambar, Indian Sambar, Sambar Deer
Synonyms: Cervus unicolor Kerr, 1792

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