Megaloceros giganteus (Blumenbach, 1799:697)

Eurasian giant deer (proposed), Giant deer, Irish elk (misnomer), Giant Irish deer (misnomer)



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Alce gigantean Blumenbach, 1799:697; Megaceros giganteus (Blumenbach, 1799:697); Megaceros Hibernicus Owen (year?)


Conservation Status


Last record: c. 6,000 BC



Eurasia (Ireland to China)


Biology & Ecology




Ward (1892:41) lists 7 sets of antlers in various collections, for which he gives measurements.


Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa:







Original scientific description:

Blumenbach, J. F. (1799). Handbuch der Naturgeschichte. Sechste Auflage. Nebst zwey Kupfertafeln. Dieterich, Göttingen.


Other references:

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Barnosky, Anthony D. (1986). "Big Game" Extinction Caused by Late Pleistocene Climatic Change: Irish Elk ([i]Megaloceros giganteus[/i]) in Ireland. Quaternary Research 25: 128-135.

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Extinct, tv show, season 1, episode 3, "The Irish Elk", originally aired 9 October 2001, see here:


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