Irish elk

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Irish elk:

see elkelk,
name applied to several large members of the deer family. It most properly designates the largest member of the family, Alces alces, found in the northern regions of Eurasia and North America. In North America this animal is called moose.
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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Irish Elk


(Megaceros giganteus), an extinct mammal of the deer family. In appearance it is similar to the fallow deer. The Irish elk existed in the Pleistocene and the early Holocene. It was distinguished by a large size and enormous antlers (up to 4 m in span), which broadened at the top in the shape of a paddle with several large prongs. The structure of the teeth, limbs, and antlers indicates that the Irish elk inhabited wet meadows. It was found in Europe, Asia, and North Africa. An especially large number of skeletons have been found in the peat bogs of Ireland. In the USSR, most of the remains of the Irish elk are found in human encampments from the early Carboniferous in the middle and southern latitudes, including the Crimea and the Northern Caucasus. Whole skeletons have been found in the territories of Riazan’ and Sverdlovsk oblasts.


Osnovy paleontologii: Mlekopitaiushchie. Moscow, 1962.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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[29]), Mammuthus primigenius, Bison/Bos, Megaloceros giganteus, Cervus elaphus, Rangifer tarandus, Equus caballus przewalskii, and boreal mountain forest fauna of Ursus spelaeus subsp.
Por un lado, existen taxones vinculados a la llanura o media montana como son Cervus elaphus, Equus ferus, Dama sp., Megaloceros giganteus, Oryctolagus cuniculus, Bos primigenius, Paleoloxodon antiquus y Stephanorhinus hemitoechus.
Ballybetagh bog in County Wicklow is the most famous site for fossil discoveries of this creature, the Megaloceros giganteus Irish elk or great deer, where over 100 deer skeletons have been found so far.
The Irish elk, or Megaloceros giganteus, was actually a giant deer.
More frequently drawings have been found of other large herbivores, which were abundant in Europe at that time, but which are now rare or already extinct, such as bison (only to be found today as a few populations in Poland and Byelorussia, and in zoos), horses (apart from domesticated horses, only a few groups of these survive in Mongolia), bulls (of which only domesticated breeds survive), and deer (it would appear that the giant deer Megaloceros giganteus, which is probably the animal depicted by the Magdalenian painters, became extinct during the Middle Ages in Ireland, where it had taken final refuge).
Megaloceros giganteus actually was a giant deer that stood more than 2.1 meters high at the shoulder, about the size of today's bull moose.