Sunday, June 7, 2009

Day One-hundred Thirty-three

Dicrocerus elegans is an extinct species of deer found in central Europe (related species in Asia). It stood 70cm (2 ft 4 in) tall at the shoulder - the same size as roe deer. Its long skull sported a set of antlers with a thickened base - the first members of cervids to possess them. The antlers were still quite primitive and had no tines; they were worn only by the males.

probably came from Asia, from the region where true deer have originated and evolved. It inhabited forests in the temperate belt and in Europe it was typical of the Miocene (10-5 million years ago). It died out at the beginning of Pliocene without leaving any descendants.

The Irish Elk or Giant Deer (Megaloceros giganteus), was a species of Megaloceros and one of the largest deer that ever lived. Its range extended across Eurasia, from Ireland to east of Lake Baikal, during the Late Pleistocene.

The Irish Elk stood about 2.1 metres (6.9 ft) tall at the shoulders, and it had the largest antlers of any known cervid (a maximum of 3.65 m (12.0 ft) from tip to tip and weighing up to 40 kilograms (88 lb)).

The nine species of chevrotain, also known as mouse deer, make up the family Tragulidae. Chevrotains are small, secretive creatures now found only in the tropical forests of Africa, India, Sri Lanka, and South-east Asia. They are the only living members of the infraorder Tragulina.

The Telugu name for the animal is "Jarini Pandi", which literally means "a deer and a mouse". The word 'chevrotain' itself is French, andcan be translated as 'little goat'.

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