From Ireland to Siberia, Irish Elk peopled much of northern Europe at the end of the last glacial period. They had the largest antlers of any deer species, that reached 12 bases in range. These elks could grow up to seven bases altitudinous and were heavy creatures with 700 kg weight. Thw evolved around 400,000 times agone and failed out 5,000 times agone , utmost presumably due to expansive stalking by humans.


The Irish elk( Megaloceros giganteus) was one of the largest deer that ever lived. Its range extended across Eurasia, from Ireland to east of Lake Baikal and China.

The last known remains of the species have been carbon dated to about 7,700 times agone . utmost configurations have been set up in Irish bogs. It wasn’t nearly related to either of the living species presently called elk – Alces alces( the European elk, or moose) or Cervus canadensis( the North American elk or wapiti). For this reason, the name” Giant Deer” is occasionally used.

Megaloceros giganteus first appeared about 400,000 times agone . It stood about2.1 metres(6.9 ft) altitudinous at the shoulders, and had the largest antlers of any given deer( a outside of3.65 m(12.0 ft) from tip to tip and importing up to 40 kg( 88 lb)).

In body size, the Irish Elk matched the living moose species( Alces alces gigas) as the largest given deer. The Irish Elk got to a mass of about 450 – 600 kg( 990 – 1,320 lb), with large samples having counted 700 kg( 1,540 lb) or further, roughly analogous to the Alaskan Moose. A significant collection ofM. giganteus configurations can be set up at the Natural History Museum in Dublin.

elaboration of antler size
The size of Irish Elk antlers is distinctive, and several propositions have arisen as to their elaboration. One proposition was that their antlers, under constant and strong sexual selection, increased in size because males were using them in combat for access to ladies. It was also suggested that they ultimately came so cumbrous that the Irish Elk couldn’t carry on the normal business of life and so came defunct. This is simply gibberish, because no species survives that long if it isn’t effective in its niche. Also, numerous other Pleistocene megafauna went defunct within a many thousand times of the end of the ice age. The Irish Elk is no different in that respect.

Larger deer species have antlers that are further than proportionately larger. This is due to allometry, or discriminational growth rate of body size and antler size during development. This suggests that the antlers of the speciesancestors were formerly large to begin with. Gould concluded that the large antler size and their position on the cranium was veritably important maintained by sexual selection. Although they were ill– suited for combat between males, they were ideal to intimidate rivals or impress ladies. Unlike other deer,M. giganteus didn’t indeed have to turn its head to present the antlers to stylish effect, but could do this by simply looking straight ahead.

propositions about the extermination of ice age megafauna are of two kinds. One is that climate change was primary; the other claims that stalking by man was primary. presumably both causes contributed.

High quantities of calcium and phosphate composites are demanded to form antlers, and thus large amounts of these minerals are needed for the massive structures of the Irish Elk. The males( and manly deer in general) met this demand incompletely from their bones, replenishing them from food shops after the antlers were grown or reclaiming the nutrients from discarded antlers( as has been observed in extant deer). therefore, in the antler growth phase, Giant Deer were suffering from a condition analogous to osteoporosis.

When the climate changed at the end of the last glacial period, the foliage in the beast‘s niche also changed. still, the most recent instance of M. giganteus in northern Siberia, dated to 8,000 times ago – well after the end of the last glacial period – shows no sign of nutrient stress. They come from a region with a international climate where the proposed foliage changes hadn’t( yet) passed.

The exposure of the original populations of Irish Elk isn’t surprising, because as climate warmed they would be separated from each other by water. The situation is less clear for the Irish Elk in international Eurasia east of the Urals. A combination of mortal presence along gutters and slow drop in niche quality in highland areas presented the last Irish Elk with the choice of either good niche but considerable stalking pressure, or general absence of humans in a sour niche.

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