Tuesday, 18 August 2009

From The BBC: "Age takes toll on wild red deer"

Age toll taken on wild red deer

A study of wild red deer on the Isle of Rum has found their ageing process can be dramatic and sudden.

Scientists at Edinburgh University studied a thousand of the animals, immortalised in Sir Edwin Landseer's portrait Monarch of the Glen.

They discovered that while males showed the first signs of ageing later than females, when it did catch up, their decline could be much faster.

The boffins observed that the deer became less wild the older they got.

"We noticed that instead of charging around, the older male deer preferred just having a nice sit-down or pottering about in the shed.

Older female deer spent most of the day looking for bargains in charity shops and having rambling conversations about how the young deer of the day are much wilder than they used to be, and telling anyone who'll listen that "it was all fields round here when I was a girl, actually it's still all fields, because we deer live in fields don't we?" etc etc"

Inside: "I came down for breakfast and said hello dear to the wife. I knew she was a deer because of the antlers sticking out of her head."

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