Musk Deer – Vanishing of the Exquisite Scent!

This paper discusses the threatened condition of musk deer with focus on taxonomy of musk deer, distribution of musk deer, production of musk, uses of musk both as a perfume and medicine, trade of musk, and conservation status of musk deer. The author of this paper aims to emphasize the exquisiteness of the musk secretion both as a perfume and medicine, and hence, the need to save the musk deer from getting extinct.

The musk deer is best acknowledged for its extraordinarily pleasant perfumed secretion known as the musk. This secretion ranks among the most valuable natural products in the world both for its fragrance and medicinal virtues, and has played the most important role in the decline of the population of musk deer on this planet. The rampant hunting of musk deer for international trade of musk products has resulted in the vanishing of the exquisite scent at an accelerated rate.

Taxonomy / Classification of Musk Deer

Musk deer are deer-like animals belonging to the family Moschidae of the order Artiodactyla under the class Mammalia. The following species of musk deer (genus Moschus) have been recognized, viz. –

Moschus moschiferus –
It is also known as Siberian musk deer or Taiga musk deer.

M. berezovskii – It is also known as Forest musk deer, Chinese Forest musk deer, South China Forest musk deer, or Dwarf musk deer.

M. chrysogaster – It is also known as Alpine musk deer.

M. leucogaster – It is also recognized by the name of Himalayan musk deer.

M. cupreus – It is also recognized by the name of Kashmir musk deer.

M. anhuiensis – Moschus anhuiensis is also known as Anhui musk deer.

M. fuscus – Moschus fuscus is also recognized by the name of Black musk deer or Dusky musk deer.

Musk Deer - Vanishing of the Exquisite Scent - adidarwinian - image Continue reading

The Hedgehog – the Spiny Ball!!

The Hedgehog – the Spiny Ball!!

A Piece of Poetry, from the Pen of an Earnest Biologist (Aditya Sardana aka Adidarwinian), dedicated to The Hedgehog – the Spiny Ball!!

“Look out under the log,

There lives a hedgehog,
It does not appear when the Sun shines,
Only to appear in the night as a ball of spines.”

Hedgehogs are found in the Europe, Africa, and Asia. Hedgehogs are the insectivorous (feeding on insects; insectivores) animals belonging to the subfamily Erinaceinae of the family Erinaceidae of the order Erinaceomorpha of the class Mammalia. Other members of the family Erinaceidae include the gymnures (subfamily Galericinae). The name “hedgehog” comes from its occurrence in the hedges or hedgerows, the pig-like (hog-like) snout, and the pig-like deep guttural sound made by it while searching for food.

Continue reading