Sinomegaceros yabei (Shikama, 1938)

Giant Japanese elk, Yabe('s) giant deer



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Cervus (Sinomegaceros) yabei Shikama, 1938; Megaceros kinryuensis Matsumoto & Mori, 1956; Alces kinryuensis (Matsumoto & Mori, 1956)


Conservation Status


Last record: Late Pleistocene



Japan (incl. Hokkaido)


Biology & Ecology










Original scientific description:

Shikama, T. (1938). Discovery of giant fallow deer from the Pleistocene in Japan. Japanese Journal of Geology and Geography 16(1-2): 115-122.


Other references:

Hayashi, Shoji, Kubo, M. O., Sánchez-Villagra, M. R., Taruno, H., Izawa, M., Shiroma, T., Nakano, T. and Fujita, M. (2023). Variation and process of life history evolution in insular dwarfism as revealed by a natural experiment. Front. Earth Sci. 11: 1095903.

Ichikawa, T. (1983). Catalogue of Type and Illustrated Specimens in the Department of Historical Geology and Palaeontology of the University Museum, University of Tokyo. Part 2. Cenozoic Fossils and Recent Specimens. iv + 536 pp.

Iwase, Akira, Hashizume, J., Izuho, M., Takahashi, K. and Sato, H. (2012). Timing of megafaunal extinction in the late Late Pleistocene on the Japanese Archipelago. Quaternary International 255: 114-124.

Kalke H.D. 1986 Southern limits of the Late Pleistocene Euro-Siberian faunal complex in East Asia. In Beringia in the cenozoic era (eds. Kontrimavicius V.L., Balkema A.A.), pp. 346-358. Rotterdam: Balkema, Amerind Publishing Company.

Kawamura, Yoshinari. (1992). Stratigraphic Distribution of Mammals in the Taishaku-kyo Sites, Hiroshima Prefecture, West Japan. The Quaternary Research (Daiyonki-Kenkyu) 31(1): 1-12.

Kolb C, Scheyer TM, Veitschegger K, Forasiepi AM, Amson E, Van der Geer AAE, Van den Hoek Ostende LW, Hayashi S, Sánchez-Villagra MR. (2015). Mammalian bone palaeohistology: a survey and new data with emphasis on island forms. PeerJ 3: e1358.

Kondo, Y. et al. (2001). Palaeoloxodon naumanni and its environment at the paleolithic site of Lake Nojiri, Nagano Prefecture, Central Japan. The World of Elephants - International Congress, Rome 2001, pp. 284-288.

Nakaya, Hideo, Akamatsu, Morio and Yamada, Goro. (1992). New late Pleistocene Mammuthus primigenius (Proboscidea, Mammalia) and Sinomegaceros yabei (Artiodacthla, Mammalia) from Yuni-cho, Hokkaido, Northern Japan. Abstracts of the Annual Meeting of the Palaeontological Society of Japan, 1992, p. 61.

Ono, A. (2001). Proboscidean bone modification in the Middle/Upper Palaeolithic of the Japanese Islands, pp. 469. In: Cavarretta, C., Gioia, P., Mussi, M. and Palombo, M. R. (eds.). The World of Elephants – International Congress, Rome. Proceedings of the 1st international congress – Consiglio nazionale delle ricerche, Rome. [automatic download]

Otsuka, Hiroyuki and Shikama, Tokio. (1977). Studies on fossil deer of the Takao Collection (Pleistocene Deer fauana in the Seto Inland Sea, West Japan—Part I). Bull. Natn. Sci. Mus., Ser. C (Geol.) 3(1): 9-40, 6 pls.

Raia P., Carotenuto F., Meiri S. 2010 One size does not fit all: no evidence for an optimal body size on islands. Global Ecology and Biogeography 19(4), 475-484.

Shikama, T., Tsugawa, S., 1962. Megacerid remains from Gunma Prefecture, Japan. Bulletin of the National Science Museum 6(1): 1-13.

Sondaar P.Y., Van der Geer A.A.E. 2005 Evolution and extinction of Plio-Pleistocene island ungulates. In Les ongulés holarctiques du Pliocène et du Pléistocene (ed. Cregut-Bonnoure E.), pp. 241-256. Paris, Maison de la Géologie.

Takai, F. and Chinzei, K., 1961: Mammalian fossils excavated at Kannon cave. Report on the excavation of the Kannon cave, pp. 22–24, pl. 11. (in Japanese)

van der Made, Jan and Tong, Haowen. (2008). Phylogeny of the giant deer with palmate brow tines Megaloceros from west and Sinomegaceros from east Eurasia. Quaternary International 179: 135-162.


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