You’ve probably heard a deer blow-snort, but have you heard one sneeze?
QUESTION: I have heard deer blow or snort many times, but this fall I heard a deer making a noise that sounded more like a person sneezing. I know it was a deer because I saw it doing this. It was much quieter than a snort, and the deer kept doing it. What is the significance of this sound?
ANSWER: There are several possibilities, but as the problem solving principle known as Occam’s Razor states: The simplest explanation is often the most correct. In all likelihood, what you heard was, indeed, a sneeze.
Deer often get infested with nasal bots or fly larvae. As these insects grow inside the nasal passages, they squirm, which I’m sure causes a certain amount of discomfort for the deer, inducing them to sneeze in an effort to reduce or remove the annoyance. — Recent Ask the Biologist Question:
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