Mammal Studies I: Moschidae

I’d been searching for a diagram of the upper incisors and canine teeth of the order Artiodactyla- that is, even-toed ungulates.  The canine teeth of Artiodactyla are usually small, or incisiform, becoming more flattened and resembling the incisors. So, I was surprised when I saw the canines on these Musk deer (family: Moschidae). 

musk buck

They are real! Extinct in Europe, they dwell in the Himalayas and prefer mountainous forested environments. Shy and solitary animals, they are not often found among humans. With no antlers, the males have these sabre-like canines and use them for combat. 

Musk deer have been hunted for their scent glands, which are used in rare perfumes. The lucrative musk gland is found  in adult males, located between the genitals and the umbilicus. It is said that ancient royalty wore the scent of the musk deer as an aphrodisiac. 



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