Ask Mr Brain...all will be explained

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 November, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 November, 1999, 12:00am

What are barking deer? Can they really bark? Barking deer are also called Muntjacs. The name 'barking deer' was given to them because of their loud, sharp calls resembling the barks of dogs. These solitary, nocturnal animals usually 'bark' when alarmed or during the breeding season.

Barking deer are the smallest kind of deer. Adult males are about half-a-metre tall and weigh about 21 kilograms on average, but some species can weigh as much as 32 kilograms. Depending on the species, they range from greyish brown or reddish to dark brown.

Males have razor-sharp canine teeth which project from the mouth and can be used to inflict serious injuries.

They are native to India, Southeast Asia, and southern China. Some are found in parts of Britain and France. The SPCA once rescued a barking deer in Hong Kong.

A new species of barking deer was found by a conservationist on a biological survey in northern Burma in 1997. The species weighs 11 kilograms and stands 50 centimetres tall at the shoulder. It is the world's smallest deer and is about half the size of the smallest deer previously known to scientists.

Why does milk turn sour? Milk is an almost complete food. It contains fats, proteins, salts, sugar (lactose), vitamins and minerals, mainly calcium and phosphorus.

Commercially produced milk un dergoes pasteurisation to check bacterial growth. Still, most milk has to be refrigerated to prevent bacteria from growing and only remains fresh for one or two days.

Certain types of bacteria live off the sugar in milk - lactose - and produce lactic acid as a waste product. This lactic acid makes the milk sour.