World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Hippocamelus

Article Id: WHEBN0002105836
Reproduction Date:

Title: Hippocamelus  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Charles Chatworthy Wood Taylor, Coat of arms of Chile, List of mammal genera, Flores warty pig, Indian spotted chevrotain
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Hippocamelus

Hippocamelus
The Peruvian Huemul
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Cervidae
Subfamily: Capreolinae
Genus: Hippocamelus
Leuckart, 1816
Species

Hippocamelus bisulcus Molina, 1782
Hippocamelus antisensis d'Orbigny, 1834

Hippocamelus is a genus of Cervidae, the deer family. It comprises two Andean species, commonly known as the huemul (from the Mapuche language), and the taruca.

Both species have a stocky, thick, and short-legged body. They live at high altitudes in the summer, then move down the mountains in the fall and spend the winter in sheltered forested valleys. Areas with fresh water are preferred. They are herbivores that feed primarily on herbaceous plants and shrubs as well as sedges, lichens, and grasses found between the rocks on high peaks. They are active during daytime and have a lifespan of about ten years.

Species

The huemul (Hippocamelus bisulcus), also known as the South Andean deer, is found in Chile and Argentina. Huemuls live in groups of varying size, typically of two or three individuals, but sometimes as many as eleven. In the past, groups of over a hundred deer were reported. Groups are made up of a female and her young, while males are often alone.

Huemul occur in several national parks in Chile and neighbouring parts of Argentina and have been on the Endangered list since 1996. They are endangered primarily due to human impacts such as deforestation, habitat fragmentation by roads, introduction of non-native mammals such as farm animals, and poaching. They are in a classic "extinction spiral" marked by increasingly small, isolated populations.

The huemul is, along with the condor, the national animal of Chile.

The taruca (Hippocamelus antisensis), is found in Peru, as well as parts of Bolivia, and in treeless Puna grasslands. They live at high altitudes, from 2,500 to 5,200 meters above sea level. Social habits include grazing in flexible groups of up to thirty animals consisting of one or two males and several females.[1]

Taxonomy and evolution

In 2008, a genetic study indicated that the huemul and taruca may not be closely related, and that the taruca should therefore be placed in a separate genus.[2] This has yet to be confirmed by other studies.

Fossils belonging to the now extinct species Hippocamelus sulcatus have been identified from Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina. This species inhabited lowland plains habitats, rather than mountains, and lived between 1.5 and 0.5 million years ago, during the mid to late Pleistocene. Its exact relationship to the living species is unclear. A second fossil species, Hippocamelus percultus, is known from the Bolivian Andes, and lived around 40,000 to 20,000 years ago; it may be a direct ancestor of the living taruca.[3]

Notes

  1. ^ Roe, N. & Rees, W. (1976). "Preliminary observations of the taruca (Hippocamelus antisensis: Cervidae) in southern Peru". Journal of Mammalogy 57 (4): 722–730.  
  2. ^ Duarte, J.M.B., et al. (2008). "The surprising evolutionary history of South American deer". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 49 (1): 17–22.  
  3. ^ Barrio, J. (2013). "Hippocamelus antisensis (Artiodactyla: Cervidae)". Mammalian Species 45 (901): 49–59.  


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.