The New Student's Reference Work/Musk-Deer

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The New Student's Reference Work (1914)
Musk-Deer
See also Musk deer on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.


Musk-Deer, a small deer separated from others by having no antlers in either male or female.  The male, however, has sharp tusks projecting downward from the upper jaw which are used in fighting.  These animals inhabit the high plateaus of Central Asia, usually living solitary and never in herds.  They are shy, feeding mainly at night, and on account of the difficulty of approaching them they are usually caught in traps.  A full-grown specimen is about three feet long and 20 inches high at the shoulders.  They vary in color, but are commonly grayish or yellowish-brown, and whitish below.  The musk is found in a sac the size of a very small orange, situated on the under surface of the abdomen.  The sack contains an ounce or more of the crude musk, which is so powerful in odor as to nearly overcome those who skin the animal and remove the pouch.  When fresh, the substance is said to resemble moist gingerbread in color and consistency.