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Moschidae

Moschidae (musk-deer; infra-order Pecora, superfamily Cervoidea) A family of small ruminants, including Moschus (musk-deer) and its fossil relatives, that differ from Cervidae, in which they were once included, in many anatomical features. Musk-deer are characterized by skeletal specializations for ‘pogo-stick’ jumping, by possession in the male of deep inguinal scent pouches and large, recurved and slightly movable maxillary canine teeth. The five or six living species have thick, quilly pelage, large ears, and very long legs. They are found in the Himalayas, China, and Siberia, especially in mountainous country. Most species are threatened by hunting for the product of the males' scent glands, ‘musk’, that is used in perfumes.

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musk deer

musk deer, small, antlerless deer, Moschus moschiferus, found in wet mountain forests from Siberia and Korea to the Himalayas. In summer it ranges up to 8,000 ft (2,400 m). It is from 20 to 24 in. (50–60 cm) high at the shoulder, with a brown coat, a pointed face, and large ears. The male has tusklike upper canine teeth curving down and backwards from the sides of the mouth, and a musk gland, called the pod, in the skin of the abdomen. Destruction of the animal for musk, which is used in perfume, has greatly reduced its numbers, and it has been exterminated in part of its range. It is classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Artiodactyla, family Cervidae.

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musk deer

musk deer • n. a small solitary deerlike eastern Asian mammal (genus Moschus, family Moschidae) without antlers, the male having long protruding upper canine teeth. Musk is produced in a sac on the abdomen of the male.

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