Lesser mouse deer can grow up to 18 inches and weigh around 5 pounds. They will usually display a brown coat with black and white markings, and their legs are so thin that they are roughly the diameter of a standard pencil. Both genders have fangs but they are more prominent in males.
The lesser mouse deer have a solely plant-based diet, which is why they have the four-chambered stomachs to help digest the plants. However, other species of mouse deer like the water mouse deer will occasionally eat insects, crabs, or scavenge fish.
Reproduction & life span
The lesser mouse deer has a life span of about 12 years with sexual maturity being reached at 5-6 months. Female lesser mouse deer are known to be continually pregnant. They carry their fawn for about five months, and then have the potential to get pregnant again two hours after giving birth. The fawns tend to be hiders and will be weaned for 10-13 weeks.
Distribution & habitat
The lesser mouse deer is native to the lowland tropical forests of Southeast Asia. During the day, the mouse deer preferred areas with dense undergrowth. At night, they are found in drier ridge areas.
There has not been enough research conducted to quantify the lesser mouse deer population. Not only is there a lack of interest in the genus, but the lesser mouse deer is categorized as a Least Concern species.
Relationship with people
Lesser mouse deer do not pose a threat to humans. Some people will keep them as pets, however, it is better if they are left in the wild.