Ask an Opossum

By MDC | September 1, 2023
From Xplor: September/October 2023

Hi! I’m Phi, Xplor’s mail possum. I know a lot about nature. If you have a question, email me at

Q: Why do male deer fight over female deer?

Elaina, age 8

A: During sunny, summer months, bucks behave like best buddies. They hang out together and groom each other like oversized cats. But when mating season arrives in autumn, they turn into fierce foes. When two bucks meet, they lock antlers and push each other around. Usually, neither gets hurt during these buck brawls. But the strongest, pushiest deer wins the chance to have more girlfriends. And females benefit by having babies that are strong and tough like their dads.

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This Issue's Staff

Photographer – Noppadol Paothong
Photographer – David Stonner
Designer – Marci Porter
Designer – Les Fortenberry
Art Director – Cliff White
Editor – Matt Seek
Magazine Manager – Stephanie Thurber