The deer is an herbivorous mammal of the Cervinae group, a sub-family of Cervidae species. This sub-family comprises 14 species that can be found all over the world, including fallow deer, spotted deer or Chital, and elk. However, the best-known species is the Red Deer, [cervus elaphus] which lives in Europe, central Asia and north Africa. Red deer are imposing animals. They reach up to one and a half meters in height at the shoulder and weigh up to 300 kilograms. Males have antlers, horns with a branching structure. These antlers can grow to more than 1 meter long. Deer shed antlers once a year. Horns fall off in spring and grow back in early summer.
Males and females live in separate herds for 10 months each year. Young males who are not yet sexually mature also live with females. All the other males live in herds. Male deer with the largest antlers rule the herd. In fall, male herds break up. Each male goes in search of a herd of females with which to mate. Red Deer are not monogamous, but males must fight rivals to conquer a harem. Deer fights start with low grunts to intimidate the adversary. If neither deer gives way, males lower their heads and ram each other in a test of strength, antler against antler. The winner spends the next two months with his harem. Female deer give birth to one fawn after a pregnancy of about 240 days. Even though fawns can stand, walk and run just a few hours after birth, they spend the first few days of life hidden in undergrowth. A dappled brown and tan coat provides excellent camouflage. Man has always admired the majestic and noble bearing of the deer. Celts considered the animal an intermediary between men and the gods. In heraldry, deer antlers signify strength.