Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Irish Elk, type of deer that could grow to 7 feet tall

There was a type of deer that could grow to 7 feet tall with 12 foot wide antlers.

It’s known as the Irish Elk, and was the largest deer ever to exist. Like the name implies, it was native to Ireland, as well as other areas across what is today Europe and Asia.

Though today they are extinct, they may have lived as early as 7,700 years ago. It is believed that megaloceros giganteus (the scientif
ic name for the Irish Elk) first came about around 400,000 years ago, and according to evolutionary science may have branched off from other known types of deer from that time.

It stood about 2.1 meters tall at the shoulders, and had the largest antlers of any known cervid. They measured 3.65 meters from tip to tip and weighed up to 40 kg, or 88 pounds. It has been called the deer equivalent of a moose due to their equally large size. It has no living descendants today, even smaller ones. This is probably a good thing.

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