Deer vs Antelope: Difference and Comparison

The entire ecosystem of the planet Earth rests upon a number of organisms. These creatures walk on land, fly in the air, and swim in the water. All of such animals or birds are very crucial to nature as they all play an irreplaceable role in the environment and the ecosystem.  

Deers and Antelopes are two such animals roaming around the planet, which are almost identical to each other in terms of appearance. But in reality, these two have a lot of differences between them.

These two directly influence the lives of all other organisms residing on this planet. So, it is very crucial to evaluate the distinction between them.  

Key Takeaways

  1. Deer are part of the Cervidae family. Antelopes belong to the Bovidae family.
  2. Antlers grow on deer and horn-like structures on antelopes.
  3. Deer inhabit forests. Antelopes prefer grasslands.

Deer vs Antelope 

A deer is a hoofed ruminant mammal forming the family Cervidae. Male deers have branched antlers which they shed and grow every year. An antelope is a species of even-toed ruminant indigenous to various regions in Africa and Eurasia that have horns that are permanent and not branched.

Deer vs Antelope

Primarily a deer is an animal having even toes and hooves upon it. It happens to be a member of the Artiodactyl clan, which also includes sheep, goats, horses, etc.

However, within this clan, the family of Derrs is called Cervidae. The main distinction between a Deer and other species is that a Deer does not have definite horns. It rather has branched antlers.  

While on the other hand, an Antelope is very similar to a Deer in its outer appearance, but it does not have antlers. It has permanent horns above its head. It belongs to the Bovidae family of the Artiodactyl clan and has a life span of around 20 years generally. 

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Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonDeer  Antelope  
Meaning  Deer is an animal having even toes and belonging to the clan Artiodactyl. Antelope is a look-alike animal of a Deer belonging to the clan Artiodactyl, bearing certain different features than the Deers.  
Family  It belongs to the family of Cervidae. Other members belonging to this same family are- Pudu Chital All other kinds of Deers etc. It belongs to the family of Bovidae. Other members belonging to this family are-  Blackbucks Nilgai Chikara  Gazelles  Hangul etc. 
Types of Horns They have antlers which they tend to shred at regular time intervals. These antlers have a structure of branches in them.  These have horns that stay with them for their whole lifespan. These horns are straight or slightly twisted or tilted.  
Life Span  The normal lifespan is of around 20 years. The normal lifespan is of 10 to 25 years generally, 
Habitat  Majorly found in the wild of Asia or North America.  Majorly found in the wild of Asia or Africa.  
Total Species A total of 62 species of this animal have been recognized till today. A total of 91 species of this animal have been recognized till today.  

What is Deer? 

Belonging to the Cervidae family of the Artiodactyl clan of four-legged animals, deer are a prominent species in such category. They are one of a kind and are found in the wild areas of Asia and North America.

As per the findings, a total of 62 species of Deer are said to be found to date. Some of them are- Reindeer, Mule, Roe deer, Moose, Chital, Elk, etc.  

Antlers are present in all-male members of this category, although females in some species do not seem to have them. These animals’ antlers tend to degrade into rags with the passage of time. The antlers of these animals are frequently twisted, slanted, or branching. 

Deers have been considered an integral aspect of the ecosystem and natural food chain from the dawn of human history. Other members belonging to this same family are- Pudu Chital, All other kinds of Deers, etc.


What is Antelope? 

Antelopes, like deer, are four-legged mammals belonging to the Bovidae family of the Artiodactyl clan. Due to their resemblance to Deers, they are frequently misidentified as such.

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In many ways, though, these are not the same as the Deers. Humans have discovered a total of 92 species of these animals yet. Nilgai, Blackbuck, Chikara, Gazelles, and other animals are among the most popular. 

The most important phenomenon which differentiates antelopes from deer is their horns. Antelopes possess permanent horns, which are born with them and remain with them till the end of their life.

They never ever tear their horns into rags. Most of the Antelopes reside in native Africa more than any other place.  

Their horns act as their defensive strategy and are mostly used as a weapon to fight other animals to safeguard themselves. Antelopes are presumed to live for about 25 years in a normal course. 


Main Differences Between Deer and Antelope 

  1. A Deer is a member of the Cervidae family of the Artiodactyl clan, while an Antelope is a member of the Bovidae family of the Artiodactyl clan of animals. 
  2. The most crucial difference between these two is that deer have antlers (branch-like horns), while Antelopes possess permanent horns. 
  3. A Deer is said to have a lifespan of around twenty years in normal circumstances. While on the other hand, the normal lifespan of an Antelope is assumed to be around twenty-five years.  
  4. A total of 62 species of Deer have been found to date, some of which are- elk, moose, mule deer, etc. While a total of 91 species of Antelopes have been found to date, some of which are- impala, waterbuck, etc.  
  5. Deers are mainly seen in the wild of Asia and North America, while Antelopes are majorly found in the wild of Asia and Africa. 
Difference Between Deer and Antelope

Last Updated : 19 July, 2023

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21 thoughts on “Deer vs Antelope: Difference and Comparison”

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