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Typical forest deer with shaggy, dark brown coat and large spreading antlers. India's largest deer species. females lighter and less shaggy. Sambar form the preferred prey base for tigers . (Source: A Field Guide to Indian Mammals, Vivek Menon)

Scientific Name : Cervus unicolor/ Rusa unicolor 
Phylum : Chordata 
Class : Mammalia 
Order : Artiodactyla 
Family : Cervidae 
Genus : Cervus 
Species : unicolor 
Vernacular Name : Mlavu 
Life Span : 10-15 years in the wild. 
Weight : 225-320kg; Height at shoulder ~150cm 
Reproduction : Gestation period of around 260 days, and an oestrus cycle of 21-24 days 
Fascinating Facts : Alarm call is a loud "dhonk". Stags fight each other during rutting season for territory and thereby access to females. During rut, the antlers are covered in a soft skin known as velvet, which dries and is shed in a few months. Antlers are usually cast between the end of March and mid-April 
Habits : Mixed deciduous forest and grassland shrub 
Food Habits : Herbivore, Ruminant - Grass, leaves and various wild fruits. 
Conservation Status : Vulnerable 
Status based on Wildlife Protection ACT 1972 : Schedule III 

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