Friday, August 5, 2011

Stag Moose

Stag Moose Reconstruction
Between 40,000 and 11,000 years ago, these huge deer roamed about North America. Stag Moose have been found in a handful of sites in and around the American Midwest, and more rarely further south and east.

When fossils were first uncovered in the early 19th century, scientists were confused about what this animal actually was. Was it a deer? An Elk? A Moose? Stag Moose were originally placed with the genus Cervus in 1825, and it wasn't until a near complete skeleton was found in 1885 that it was given its very own genus, Cervalces.

Stag Moose were large animals, typically a little bit taller then our modern Moose. They had Moose-like bodies, but deer-like heads and a pair of huge, irregularly pronged antlers.

It is believed that Stag Moose went extinct due to displacement. Moose had moved in to North America via the Bering Land Bridge around that time, and the competition probably played a part in the Stag Moose's decline.

Status : Extinct for around 11,000 years
Location : North America
Size : Height up to 5ft (1.5m)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Artiodactyla
Family : Cervidae -- Genus : †Cervalces -- Species : †C. scotti

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