|A lesser mouse-deer in a German zoo|
The lesser mouse-deer, lesser Malay chevrotain, or kanchil (Tragulus kanchil) is a species of even-toed ungulate in the family Tragulidae.
The lesser mouse-deer is found widely across Southeast Asia in Indochina, Burma (Kra Isthmus), Brunei, Cambodia, China (Southern Yunnan), Indonesia (Kalimantan, Sumatra and many other small islands), Laos, Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak and many other small islands), Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
It is the smallest known hoofed mammal, its mature size being as little as 45 cm (18 inches) and 2 kg (4.4 lb). It is threatened by predation by feral dogs.
Through further research it is also discovered that the creatures who were initially believed to be nocturnal actually conduct their activities during the day. As discovered by Kusuda, the first being that though many births occur in May, November or December, the females are able to reproduce throughout the year (Kusuda et al).
In an Indonesian and Malaysian folklore, the mouse-deer Sang Kancil is a cunning trickster similar to Br'er Rabbit from the Uncle Remus tales, even sharing some story plots, like when they both trick enemies pretending to be dead or inanimate, or lose a race to slower opponents.
Kusuda, S., Adachi, I., Fujioka, K., Nakamura, M., Amano-Hanzawa, N., Goto, N., et al. (2013). Reproductive characteristics of female lesser mouse deers (tragulus javanicus) based on fecal progestagens and breeding records. Animal Reproduction Science, 137(1-2), 69-73. doi:10.1016/j.anireprosci.2012.12.008