The asynchronous timing of antler casting of Reeves' muntjac (Muntiacus reevesi)
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From 1973 until the present time, captive Reeves’ muntjac (Muntiacus reevesi) have been observed in England. The dates of casting of both antlers have been recorded for 25 bucks, totalling 121 antler cycles. All casting dates were between 1 May and 17 July (63.64 % of the cycles occurred in May, 34.71 % in June, and only 1.65 % in July). Only 13.2 % of the antler cycles were synchronous. In 45.71 % of cases, the left antler was cast 1 day or more before the right one, whereas in 54.29 % of cases, the reverse was true. For 57.14 % of cases, the time between castings of the first and second antlers was up to 3 days, and for 32.38 % of the cases, the interval was 4 to 8 days, and in 10.48 %, the difference was 9 to 13 days. All bucks cast their antlers asynchronously at least in some of the antler cycles. No external factor, which would be responsible for this, was detected. Significant variation across season has been shown with no apparent trend. Although records on subsequent seasons were available for most of the bucks, there was a zero repeatability of the process. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
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