A small deerlike mammal with short tusks, typically nocturnal and found in the tropical rainforests of Africa and southern Asia. Also called mouse deer.
- Family Tragulidae: genera Moschiola (one Asian species), Tragulus (two Asian species), and Hyemoschus (one African species).
- Ecologically, they range from forest dwellers, such as wild pigs and chevrotains, to dominant large herbivores on grasslands.
- In the Duala headdresses, the animal is an antelope, perhaps the African water chevrotain that was once common in the Delta and the Wouri estuary.
- The parallel antelope masking forms of the Ijebu Agbo society are associated with a water spirit of Ijo derivation based on the African water chevrotain.
Late 18th century: from French, diminutive of Old French chevrot, diminutive of chèvre 'goat'.
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