Deer Species

Water Deer Facts and Information

Noah Tanner

Last Updated:

All About Deer is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

The Water Deer, often called the “vampire deer” due to its prominent fangs, is a unique and captivating member of the deer family. Native to East Asia, these small, secretive deer have some truly extraordinary features that set them apart from their relatives. Let’s dive into the fascinating world of the Water Deer.

Species Data

  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Artiodactyla
  • Family: Cervidae
  • Scientific Name: Hydropotes inermis
  • Life Span: 10 to 12 years
  • Height: 50-55 cm (20-22 inches)
  • Weight: 25-35 pounds (11-16 kilograms)


Water Deer are small in size, resembling a stocky dog with deer-like features. What makes them truly unique are their long, sharp upper canine teeth, often referred to as fangs. These fangs are used for territorial displays and do not serve a predatory purpose.


These deer have a reddish-brown coat with a distinctive white belly. Their small size and short legs make them well-adapted for moving through dense vegetation, especially the wetlands and marshes they call home.


Water Deer are primarily crepuscular, meaning they are most active during dawn and dusk. They are excellent swimmers and are often found in areas with abundant water, such as riversides and lakeshores.


They are well-suited for wetland habitats, including reed beds, swamps, and river valleys. Water Deer are highly territorial and will defend their chosen territory from other deer.

Diet and Nutrition

Their diet consists of a variety of aquatic and terrestrial plants, including grasses, sedges, and aquatic vegetation. Their specialized teeth help them feed on a wide range of plant material.

Mating Habits

Water Deer typically mate in the winter months, with a gestation period of around 200 days. Females give birth to one to three fawns, which are carefully hidden in dense vegetation.

Mating Behavior

  • Reproduction Season: Winter
  • Pregnancy Duration: Approximately 200 days
  • Baby Carrying: Females hide their fawns in dense vegetation
  • Independent Age: Fawns become independent at around 6 months
  • Female Name: Doe
  • Male Name: Buck
  • Baby Name: Fawn

5 Fun Facts for Kids

  1. Water Deer are the only deer species with prominent fangs.
  2. They are excellent swimmers and can cross rivers with ease.
  3. These small deer are known for their strong territorial behavior.
  4. Unlike most deer, Water Deer do not have antlers.
  5. They have adapted to living in wetlands and marshes, making them unique among deer species.


Noah Tanner

Leave a Comment