Name: Cervalces ‭(‬Stag moose‭)‬.
Phonetic: Ser-val-ces.
Named By: Scott‭ ‬-‭ ‬1885.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Mammalia,‭ ‬Artiodactyla,‭ ‬Cervidae.
Species: C.‭ ‬scotti,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬latifrons.
Diet: Herbivore.
Size: Around‭ ‬2‭ ‬to‭ ‬2.5‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: Across Eurasia and North America.
Time period: Throughout the Pleistocene.
Fossil representation: Multiple specimens

       Often referred to as‭ ‘‬Stag moose‭’‬,‭ ‬Cervalces was a moose-like deer.‭ ‬This means that it is considered to be a deer that adapted body features that made it resemble a moose.‭ ‬With this in mind Cervalces is thought to have fulfilled a similar ecological niche to the modern day moose‭ (‬Alces alces‭) ‬and inhabited woodlands and forests as well as wading into water to search for suitable vegetation.‭ ‬Of the two species,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬scotti is more often associated with North American fossils,‭ ‬while C.‭ ‬latifrons has a more Eurasian distribution.‭
       Principal predators of Cervalces may have included grey wolves‭ (‬Canis lupus‭) ‬and dire wolves‭ (‬Canis dirus‭)‬,‭ ‬as well as possibly brown bears‭ (‬Ursus arctos‭)‬.‭ ‬Grey wolves and brown bears are known to hunt and kill moose today,‭ ‬although brown bears tend to go after smaller juveniles rather than fully grown adults,‭ ‬or alternatively steal the kills of wolves.‭ ‬The dire wolf,‭ ‬being much more heavily built than the grey would have had an even easier time bringing down large prey like Cervalces.‭ ‬Another predator may have been the American lion‭ (‬Panthera leo atrox‭) ‬as its close relative the Eurasian cave lion‭ (‬Panthera leo spelaea‭) ‬is known to have had a preference for deer like animals,‭ ‬and it is possible that the American lion may have shared this taste in prey.‭ ‬Additionally towards the end of the Pleistocene period,‭ ‬the first human hunters would have also likely targeted Cervalces for food.
       Cervalces vanished at the end of the Pleistocene along with most of the other North American megafauna.‭ ‬Several theories from human hunting to habitat change to disease have been proposed as explanation,‭ ‬but what is certain is that whatever happened,‭ ‬it affected all of these animals rather than just a few species.‭ ‬It’s just as possible however that this mass extinction was caused by the combined effects of several factors.‭ ‬There is a popular theory that C.‭ ‬scotti became extinct because of competition from the moose that crossed over Beringia‭ (‬the Bering land bridge‭) ‬into North America from Asia.‭ ‬However the fact that this species disappeared at the same time as the other North American megafauna strongly counts against this,‭ ‬although competition with the moose would have increased pressure upon C.‭ ‬scotti,‭ ‬making‭ ‬it‭ ‬more susceptible to the survival conditions of the time.


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