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Q:
My wife and I disagree on how deer in the south are small compared to the deer up in the north. I say it cause of the vast amounts of feed through out the year. My wife says it because they are small cause of the brush that they walk through whos right whos wrong.

Question by djgrgurich. Uploaded on February 22, 2009

Answers (18)

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from evspence wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

the deer have to bulk up to make it through winter, i've seen it happen in my woods, bucks are barely recognizable sometimes they get so big.

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from buckhunter wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Evspence is correct. A frail bodied deer could not survive the harsh winters up here and likewise these bruisers up here would have trouble in the heat down there.

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from rrmont wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

All deer have evloved to adapt to thier climates and the changes that go on. Therefore bigger deer up north, harsher winters, and smaller deer down south, warmer climates.

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from Del in KS wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Biologists say it has to do with the weather being colder as you go North. Larger animals maintain body heat more efficiently. On the other hand smaller animals are better at handling the heat down South. The smallest Whitetails are the Florida Key deer.

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from 60256 wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

The weather being colder in the north is why. Also, the reason why deer in south tend to live longer is because they don't have to deal with the harsh winters.

Nate

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Del in KS said it best!

GOOD JOB DEL!!

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from KingFisher907 wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Del in KS said it best...
biology dictates that larger bodied animals stay warmer longer...

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from KingFisher907 wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

jinx clay cooper lol!

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from VT Outdoorsman wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Genetics.

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from Beekeeper wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Del is correct. It is related to holding body heat more effectively. But good food resources help out also. It is not uncommon to see deer here in the south exceed 200 pounds or even more in areas of good habitat where they do not exceed carrying capacity. There is an Island off of our coast where deer were not hunted and allowed to over populate. When hunts were allowed to begin the average size of the deer was 25 - 30 lbs live weight. After 20 plus years of management the average size is over 70.

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from Nick Jensen wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Del is on the right track, it really has to do with surface area to body mass ratio. A larger animal actually has a lower surface area to body mass ratio and therefore can retain heat better because there is less area for the heat to escape compared to the total mass of the animal. The smaller deer has a higher ratio and this helps it stay cool because there is more area to release heat.

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from bowhunter123 wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

i must say i agree with you because of the different protiens and mineral intake they dont have the nutrition that they need to be as big as the deer up here

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from MLH wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

So, shouldn't the same thing apply to the big cats? What about black bears?

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from Nick Jensen wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

MLH, the exact same does apply to other animals. It is fact that a larger body has a lower surface area to mass ratio and a lower ratio means better heat retention in cold weather. We find this fact all over the place in nature, science, and even inside the human body.

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from hjohn429 wrote 5 years 7 weeks ago

Don't tell your wife, but I think she is wrong and you are right. Del's answere explaines it all.

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from River Rat wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

My college zoology is forty years past. but I remember a Roberts or Robertsons natural law that applies to all mammals. It states something like- within a given species as you move farther from the equator the larger the animal's body mass tends to be.

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from shane wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Example for high mass/low surface area for cold climate - whales.

Hot place, smaller version - Coues Deer.

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from rudyglove27 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Agreed with evspence answer above and A + 1 for you sir!!!

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from Del in KS wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Biologists say it has to do with the weather being colder as you go North. Larger animals maintain body heat more efficiently. On the other hand smaller animals are better at handling the heat down South. The smallest Whitetails are the Florida Key deer.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Del in KS said it best!

GOOD JOB DEL!!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from KingFisher907 wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Del in KS said it best...
biology dictates that larger bodied animals stay warmer longer...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from KingFisher907 wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

jinx clay cooper lol!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from evspence wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

the deer have to bulk up to make it through winter, i've seen it happen in my woods, bucks are barely recognizable sometimes they get so big.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Evspence is correct. A frail bodied deer could not survive the harsh winters up here and likewise these bruisers up here would have trouble in the heat down there.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rrmont wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

All deer have evloved to adapt to thier climates and the changes that go on. Therefore bigger deer up north, harsher winters, and smaller deer down south, warmer climates.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 60256 wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

The weather being colder in the north is why. Also, the reason why deer in south tend to live longer is because they don't have to deal with the harsh winters.

Nate

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from VT Outdoorsman wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Genetics.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Del is correct. It is related to holding body heat more effectively. But good food resources help out also. It is not uncommon to see deer here in the south exceed 200 pounds or even more in areas of good habitat where they do not exceed carrying capacity. There is an Island off of our coast where deer were not hunted and allowed to over populate. When hunts were allowed to begin the average size of the deer was 25 - 30 lbs live weight. After 20 plus years of management the average size is over 70.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nick Jensen wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Del is on the right track, it really has to do with surface area to body mass ratio. A larger animal actually has a lower surface area to body mass ratio and therefore can retain heat better because there is less area for the heat to escape compared to the total mass of the animal. The smaller deer has a higher ratio and this helps it stay cool because there is more area to release heat.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bowhunter123 wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

i must say i agree with you because of the different protiens and mineral intake they dont have the nutrition that they need to be as big as the deer up here

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

So, shouldn't the same thing apply to the big cats? What about black bears?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nick Jensen wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

MLH, the exact same does apply to other animals. It is fact that a larger body has a lower surface area to mass ratio and a lower ratio means better heat retention in cold weather. We find this fact all over the place in nature, science, and even inside the human body.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hjohn429 wrote 5 years 7 weeks ago

Don't tell your wife, but I think she is wrong and you are right. Del's answere explaines it all.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from River Rat wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

My college zoology is forty years past. but I remember a Roberts or Robertsons natural law that applies to all mammals. It states something like- within a given species as you move farther from the equator the larger the animal's body mass tends to be.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Example for high mass/low surface area for cold climate - whales.

Hot place, smaller version - Coues Deer.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rudyglove27 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Agreed with evspence answer above and A + 1 for you sir!!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

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