It seems like alot of cervids have these fleshy spines inside their mouth. Here's a deer. (see attachment)

Ive seen them in moose too, and they are quite varied, robust and large.

In deer, these spines seem to exhibit some variation between individuals. They cover the inner surface of the cheeks and also run underneath the tongue. Morphological differences seem to exist between spines in different areas of the mouth.


What are they for?

Post's pictures

deer.jpg, 102.57 kb, 500 x 331

Sorry it's taken a whole to get around to this. I've spoken to a couple of people who have worked a bit on deer and these are apparently common in both deer and other ungulated including cows. Their exact function is not known (or at least the people I spoke to didn't know) but they are presumed to be useful in holding vegeatation in position in the mouth during chewing. If I can turn up further information, i'll let you know.