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Indian Muntjac Deer Skin Fibroblasts

The Indian muntjac is a species of small deer native to India, Southeast Asia, and southern China. It and other members of the genus Muntiacus are frequently referred to as barking deer due to the characteristic noise they emit when they feel threatened or alarmed.

Muntjacs vary in size, but the Indian muntjac typically weighs between 40 and 60 pounds and does not exceed 30 inches in height at the shoulder. The largest species of muntjac, however, may weigh more than 100 pounds and was unknown to man until the early 1990s when it was discovered in a Vietnam nature reserve. The delayed detection of the animal may have been a result of its nocturnal habits and tendency to live in areas covered in thick vegetation.

Generally solitary creatures, muntjacs can be extremely competitive. Males frequently fight over mates and territory, using their antlers and canine teeth, which are elongated into tusks, as weapons. Although they are diminutive in size, they are capable of inflicting serious injuries to other animals. They cannot easily defend themselves against humans, however, and are often hunted for their skins and meat. Thus, some species of muntjacs are endangered, although the Indian muntjac appears to remain relatively abundant.

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