Hjortedyr hører til klovdyrene, en gruppe planteetere med to klover på hver fot, og de er drøvtyggere. Hjortedyr har øynene plassert på siden av hodet. Dermed kan de oppfatte bevegelser uten å snu seg, og raskt flykte fra eventuelle rovdyr.

Geviret er kanskje det som kjennetegner hjortedyrene best. Med unntak av villrein er det bare hannen som har gevir. Geviret felles årlig, og blir større for hver gang det vokser ut. 

I Norge har vi fire arter i hjortedyrfamilien; elg, hjort, rådyr og villrein. I tillegg finnes det et lite antall viltlevende dåhjort i Østfold. Dåhjort er imidlertid en introdusert art i Norge. 

Størrelsen varierer i stor grad. Fra vårt minste hjortedyr - rådyret, til skogens konge - elgen.

Kilder

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