What is a Roman Nose Deer?

Roman Nose – “A hooked or round nose, also referred to as an Aquiline nose, is derived from the fullness of the face but also makes reference to a fierce fighter.”

A roman nosed deer is a deer that appears to have a hump or bump on its nose. 

Why Do Deer Get Roman Nose?

Many species, including horses, guinea pigs, and even humans, carry a “roman nose gene,” but it is not entirely clear where it originated.

A considerable number of hunters believe that the roman nose in deer comes with age. 

They observe deer year after year through trail cameras, and many of them notice that the older the deer gets, the bigger the bump on their nose grows. 

It could have to do with the fact that deer skull hardens over time, and bone structure gets thicker with age. 

 This is probably true since there is plenty of evidence, but it doesn’t explain why some deer have it and others don’t. 

Another theory is that an injury could have influenced the deer’s skull shape. 

Bucks fight fiercely for the territory and the right to mate during rutting season, and many of them sustain facial injuries. 

It would also correlate with the aging of the deer since the older the buck, the more fights it has on its account.

However, this theory is less likely would not explain why does develop roman noses. 

Genetics, on the other hand, would be a plausible explanation. An old study on guinea pigs shows the roman nose as a dominant feature, and although deer is a different species altogether, multiple species of animals develop roman noses.

Studies on deer are difficult due to deer being less domesticated, but studies on horses are much more common.

These studies on horses show that a roman nose is a genetic trait. It also shows that the trait is more prominent in some breeds of horses.

Do All Deer Have Roman Noses?

What is a Roman Nose Deer?

All species of deer can develop a roman nose, but not every individual deer will get it.

The roman nose was observed by hunters and animal watchers in whitetails, coues, muleys, and blacktails. 

There is also no distinction between a buck’s or a doe’s facial features. Either sex can develop a roman nose. In that regard, we can say that all deer have roman noses. 

Or more accurate would be to say that all deer can have roman noses, regardless of species or sex.

The other matter is whether every whitetail or mule deer has a roman nose. The answer to that is no. 

Despite a popular belief in hunting circles, not every whitetail buck will have a roman nose when it gets older. The same goes for other deer species.

Are Roman Noses a Negative Trait

Depending on the “source” of the roman nose and where the bump had formed on the deer’s face, it could be just a curious facial feature or severe deformation obscuring breathing and feeding.

Healthy deer that formed the roman nose by simply getting older and calcifying their skulls in this way have no problems. 

In that case, the roman nose is not a negative trait, although some hunters call it ugly. 

The bump doesn’t seem to obscure the deer’s vision in any way. Deer don’t have problems with breathing or foraging either.

If the roman nose results from broken bones or, on rare occasions, genetic disability, it may cause some problems. 

Broken facial bones and upper parts of the skull can result from a fight between bucks during rutting season or a car accident. 

After sustaining an injury deer’s body tries to heal and the bump can be a result of bone buildup.

Any head injury can be serious, causing brain abscesses, and any genetic deformity can negatively influence a deer’s life, depending on severity.

Final Thoughts

Roman noses in deer are no different than roman noses in horses or other animals.

There is some correlation between age and roman noses in animals, but this requires some further studying.

You may find an 8-year-old buck without a roman nose, but it would be less likely to find a 2-year-old with a roman nose, although not impossible.

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