Also known as Rock Deer, White-nosed Deer,
or Dama Fallow Deer, it belongs to the Cervidae family of Artiodactyla order,
with the Latin scientific name Cervus albirostris, and English name Thorold's
Deer or White-lipped Deer.
The body size of White-lipped Deer is
similar to Water Deer and Horse Deer. The tearpits in the skull are large and
deep. The lip periphery and lower jaw are white. Hence it is also called
White-lipped Deer. The length of adult buck's horn is up to one meter, with four
to six forks, while the female is hornless. Its hoofs are wide and large. It is
yellow brown all over, with light-brown spots on the hip, but no black back line
nor white spots commonly seen in other animals of the Cervidae family.
It inhabits on high and cold bosks or
grasslands at an elevation of 3,500 to 5,000 meters. In daytime, it always hides
in forest fringes or bosks, sometimes climbs cliffs of flowstone beach and bare
rocks. Living in groups, it is good at climbing mountains and running. Mainly,
it feeds on plants of the Gramineae, Buckwheat,
and Crassulaceae families, as well as leaves of many
kinds of trees, with the habit of eating salt. Oestrus and mating mostly happen
during the period from September to November each year. Among the males there is
drastic fighting for mates. The gestation period lasts about eight months, one
baby deer for each pregnancy, and the body of young deer has white spots. When
it is two years old, the antler output is high, which is a rare material for
traditional Chinese medicine.
Endemic species in China, it is distributed
in Qinghai, Gansu, western Sichuan provinces and eastern Tibet.