Extinct animal story of the giant Horned deer
In the 17th and 18th centuries, modern natural history was in the ascendancy.Western scholars have developed unprecedented enthusiasm for the identification and study of paleontological fossils and specimens.And a giant prehistoric deer called the Great Horned deer has become the talk of science.From the classification point of view, giant horn deer belongs to the deer family, great horn deer genus, is worthy of the kingdom of deer “giant”.Its shoulder height was more than 2 meters and its weight was estimated to be around 700 kilograms.Most strikingly, the giant antler has the largest antlers known to man.Antlers can be up to 3.5 meters across and weigh about 40 kilograms.How can it not be mesmerizing to see antlers shed and regenerate every year?The species evolved on Earth around 400,000 years ago.It lived alongside prehistoric giants like mammoths and woolly rhinos in what we call the ice Age.Giant antlers once ranged across a vast area of Eurasia stretching from Ireland in the west to Lake Baikal in the east.Scientists have found a large number of fossilized bones in swamp sediments in Ireland.Based on the fossil’s appearance, scientists first linked the great horned deer to the “moose,” the largest living deer on Earth.Both giant and moose can grow to more than two meters high at the shoulder, and their antlers are palmate antlers with platelike connections between branches.In appearance, the moose is the modern deer most similar to the great horned deer.The name “moose” was long mistranslated as “elk,” so the great horned deer was once called the “Irish elk.”But after DNA comparison and verification, the great horned deer and moose are not directly related.Not only that, but none of the 50 or so species of deer living on earth are descended from the giant horned deer.New research suggests that fallow deer, a goat-like animal that now lives in the Mediterranean, is a relatively close relative of giant horned deer.During the hundreds of thousands of years when giant horned deer lived on the Earth, the global climate experienced dozens of large changes in temperature and temperature. About 8000 years ago, giant horned deer finally went extinct due to environmental pressure and human hunting.But in places like Ireland, the animals disappeared before they could be hunted.Lincolnshire Naturalists’ Union. The Lincolnshire Naturalist:transactions of the Lincolnshire Naturalists’ Union. Natural History Museum Library, 2002.v.25,no.4.