Sub-class Placentalia

Order Artiodactyla

Family Cervidae (deer)

Species Cervalces scotti

The stag-moose had the body of a moose, but a muzzle more closely resembling that of a typical deer. Its antlers were extraordinary, being both large and intricately ornamented. The stag-moose has been identified at more than 20 Wisconsinan sites in North America, but none of them has produced any evidence of association with humans. The disappearance of Cervalces scotti between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago may have been hastened by the appearance of the "true moose" (Alces alces) -- invading from Eurasia -- with which it may have been in competition.

See also: Kurten, B., and E. Anderson, 1980. Pleistocene Mammals of North America. Columbia University Press: New York.






 



Sub-class Placentalia

Order Artiodactyla

Family Cervidae (deer)

Species Megaloceros giganteus


painting by Charles Knight © AMNH

Originally discovered in bog deposits in Ireland, Megaloceros lived on the European mainland as well. Megaloceros rivaled a large moose in size (approximately 1,500 lb), making it one of the largest known deer. Its famously enormous antlers -- some of which obtained a 13-foot spread -- were used in ritualized combat between males. Adapted to live in grassy terrain, it became extinct some 12,000 years ago, possibly because of the loss of required habitat.

Be sure to see a mounted specimen (the real thing!) of this species at the AMNH!

See also: Gould, S.J., 1987. The misnamed, mistreated, and misunderstood Irish Elk. Ever Since Darwin. W. W. Norton: New York.






 


Sub-class Placentalia

Order Artiodactyla

Family Hippopotamidae (hippopotami)

Species Hippopotamus lemerlei

One of two species of small hippos native to Madagascar, the remains of H. lemerlei have been found in many parts of the island. About half to two-thirds the size of living Hippopotamus amphibius from East Africa, Lemerle's hippo seems to have been adapted to an amphibious lifestyle much like that of its larger mainland relative. Another genus, the Malagasy hippo (H. madagascariensis), seems to have had a restricted range in the southern part of the island--and was possibly terrestrial. Although both species are presumed to have disappeared before AD 1500, the hippos of Madagascar continue to live in oral traditions of the Malagasy people as the mysterious lalomena. Large assemblages of skeletons are known from some sites, but the only evidence of human interaction consists of a few examples of butchered long bones.

See also: MacPhee, R.D.E., and D.A. Burney, 1991. Dating of modified femora of extinct dwarf Hippopotamus from southern Madagascar: Implications for constraining human colonization and vertebrate extinction events. J. Archeol. Sci. 18:695-706.