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Male red deer (Cervus elaphus) and Male Fallow deer (Dama dama) have a descended larynx, presumably for size exaggeration - to attract mates and intimidate other animals.

  1. Does this descent occur after sexual maturation?

  2. Do females of these species also have descended larynx?

  3. In males, does this occur twice - just as it does with human males?

  4. Do deer use size exaggeration to intimidate other animals, other male deer only or both?

  5. Lastly, are there other typical behaviors associated with size exaggeration (i.e. standing on back legs)?

Thank you in advance. I attempted to search for these online but so far have not found any answers. Of course, any cite-able literature containing the answers would be ideal.

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to SE Biology. This site attempts to build up a repository of questions and answers that can be useful to others as well as the poster. Thus, we discourage multiple questions in one. As your five parts are all about the same topic, this is not a criticism here, but I have edited your title to remove "5 questions about" so that the subject is clear and abides by our guidelines. $\endgroup$ – David May 1 '17 at 22:12
  • $\begingroup$ I apologize. The most important question is if larynx/hyoid descension occurs in both sexes. If someone could answer or point me to the appropriate literature for that I would appreciate it. $\endgroup$ – tom May 2 '17 at 8:26
  • $\begingroup$ No need to apologize. I can't help you but let's hope someone else can. $\endgroup$ – David May 2 '17 at 9:39
  • $\begingroup$ Apparently not... $\endgroup$ – tom May 3 '17 at 8:23
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    $\begingroup$ Thank you. Since posting I have finished reading "The descended larynx is not uniquely human" by Fitch and Reby. They conclude the larynges of male red and fallow deer do descend, although these animals have control, whereas we do not. They (deliberately) avoided does of these species which makes it difficult to contrast with human females (who have one post infancy descension for speech.) $\endgroup$ – tom May 3 '17 at 14:57

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