This is the smallest race of North American deer. Adults measure 25 to 30 inches at the shoulder and have an average weight of 55 to 75 pounds for males and 45-65 pounds for females. The body is stockier, legs shorter, and skull wider than other races of white-tailed deer. The coat varies from a deep reddish brown to a grizzled, gray color. Bucks usually have antlers by their second year, and eight points by the fifth. The Key deer's primary food source is the red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle), but approximately 6O other plants are also known to form part of its diet. Possibly most of the available plant species are used at one time or another. The selection of some food plants changes seasonally, probably reflecting availability and nutritional needs. Other plants are browsed almost continuously resulting in their stunting and near extirpation.
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