ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

"Dork" Deer

Updated on April 26, 2018

Dork Deer

"Dork deer" is a term for a deer whose upper jaw is considerably longer than its lower jaw, producing a pronounced overbite. Some also have jaws that are skewed to the side. These animals have an unusual appearance this is often remarked upon by hunters or nature watchers. This trait is generally assumed to be genetic and inherited.

Also Known As:

  • Parrot jaw, parrot mouth, bird face, overbite.

Picture courtesy of Andy Lott
Picture courtesy of Andy Lott

Incidence

It has been suggested that more and more of these deer are been seen, hunted and brought into taxidermists. Observers have suggested that this is due to the proliferation of an abnormal gene in certain populations, or inbreeding.

This deformity is know to occur in reindeer when the deer are selectively bred for white or spotted coats. And some people suspect chemical contaminants may be implicated in increased underbite rates and other deformities.

Brachygnathy

The technical term for this condition is brachygnathy inferior (abnormally short lower jaw). It is a congenital deformity cause by a number of different genes, and shown in many different deer species. This condition also occurs in a range of other species include sheep, cattle and even the rhinoceros.

Lee County, AL
Lee County, AL | Source

Research


  • Robinette & Aldous (1955) Parrot mouth is recorded in mule deer (see also: Short 1964).
  • Smits (1990) documented brachygnathia on a captive herd in Ontario. This case seems to have a different cause: osteoporosis. The appearance of these deer was much more extreme with very short jaws and protruding tongue.
  • Chapman (1992) described a case of brachygnathia and abnormal coloring in a fallow deer fawn.
  • Rollor (1993) described a case of brachygnathia and leg deformities in a white-tailed deer fawn.
  • Scanlon (1997) observed white tail deer with brachygnathia and leg abnormalities in Virginia.
  • Zachos et al (2007) studied an isolated population of red deer in Germany were many individuals has shortened lower jaws, other deformities such as a fawn born without eyes, and demonstrable loss of genetic variability due to inbreeding.
  • Haas et al (2012) showed that brachygnathia is occurring at a high rate in a range of deer species.

Conclusion

The occurrence of "dork deer" in many different isolated populations of deer, from different species, indicates that its primary cause is high levels of inbreeding. Deer tend to be part of increasingly fragmented and isolated groups, so inbreeding is occurring at increasing rates. Thus the impression that there are more dork deer around may be entirely accurate.

Picture courtesy of David Wigley an approximately 1.5 year old deer shot on 1/1/2013.
Picture courtesy of David Wigley an approximately 1.5 year old deer shot on 1/1/2013.

White Deer

White and piebald deer also often have a shortened lower jaw and other facial deformities.

This is logical as pale coat color, a.k.a. leucism, is a recessive trait and also associated with inbreeding.

Request for Pictures

If you have any pictures of dork deer that I could use to illustrate this hub please send them to me at psycheskinner at gmail.com. Thanks to Andy Lott, Matthew White, and David Wigley for pictures contributed so far.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Shaddie profile image

      Shaddie 

      3 years ago from Washington state

      I had no idea this existed. So weird!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)