Male tufted deer Elaphodus cephalophus, an Asian species with extremely small antlers. Photographed by Heush.

Belongs within: Pecora.
Contains: Cervini, Muntiacus, Odocoileini.

The Cervidae are the deers, a family of ruminants of which the majority of members possess antlers, paired cranial appendages with a deciduous distal portion. Besides the antlers (which are not present in all species), the Cervidae are characterised by the presence of a lacrimal fossa, and various soft-body features such as the absence of a gall bladder (Janis & Scott 1988). Molecular analyses of the Cervidae support a primary division within the living members of the family between the Cervinae or Plesiometacarpalia, retaining only the proximal part of the lateral metacarpals, and the Capreolinae or Telemetacarpalia, retaining only the distal part of the lateral metacarpals (Gilbert et al. 2006).

    |  i. s.: Megamuntiacus vuquangensis Tuoc, Dung et al. 1994 TB01
    |         Eucladoceros boulei LE05, DW04
    |         Dicrocerus Lartet 1839 H78, C76 [incl. Cosoryx C76]
    |           |--D. dichotomus C76
    |           |--D. furcatus (Leidy 1869) [=Cosoryx furcatus; incl. C. ramosus Cope 1874] C76
    |           |--D. gemmifer (Cope 1873) [=Cosoryx gemmifer] C76
    |           |--D. necatus (Leidy 1854) [=Merycodus necatus; incl. Cervus warrenii Leidy 1858] C76
    |           |--D. tehuanus Cope 1876 C76
    |           |--D. teres (Cope 1874) [=Cosoryx teres] C76
    |           `--D. trilateralis Cope 1876 C76
    |         Pseudodama Azzaroli 1992 ME05
    |           `--P. nestii ME05
    |                |--P. n. nestii ME05
    |                `--P. n. vallonnetensis de Lumley, Kahlke et al. 1988 ME05
    |         Heterocemas Young 1937 JS88, H78
    |--Cervinae [Plesiometacarpalia] GRH06
    |    |--Cervini GRH06
    |    `--Muntiacini [Muntiacinae] GRH06
    |         |--Muntiacus GRH06
    |         `--Elaphodus Milne-Edwards 1871 GRH06
    |              `--E. cephalophus GRH06
    `--Capreolinae [Odocoileinae, Telemetacarpalia] GRH06
         |--Odocoileini HH06
         `--+--Alceini [Alcinae, Alcini] HH06
            |    |--Cervalces GRH06
            |    `--Alces Gray 1821 GRH06
            |         |--*A. alces (Linnaeus 1758) F99
            |         |--A. americanus MH96
            |         `--A. palmatus T66
            `--Capreolini HH06
                 |--Procapreolus GRH06
                 |--Hydropotes Swinhoe 1870 [Hydropotinae, Hydropotini] GRH06
                 |    `--H. inermis HH06
                 `--Capreolus Gray 1821 GRH06
                      |--*C. capreolus GRH06
                      |--C. matheronis (Gervais 1850) H78
                      `--C. pygargus RM98

Inorganic: Alces alces minilorientalus Okamura 1987 O87
           Capreolus capreolus minilorientalus Okamura 1987 O87

*Type species of generic name indicated


[C76] Cope, E. D. 1876. Report upon the extinct Vertebrata obtained in New Mexico by parties of the expedition of 1874. Geographical Surveys West of the One Hundredth Meridian 4 (2): i-iv, 1-370.

[DW04] Deng T., Wang X., Ni X. & Liu L. 2004. Sequence of the Cenozoic mammalian faunas of the Linxia Basin in Gansu, China. Acta Geologica Sinica (English Edition) 78 (1): 8-14.

[F99] Forsten, A. 1999. Snout proportions in some Eurasian hipparions (Mammalia, Equidae): taxonomic and functional implications. Geodiversitas 21 (2): 255-278.

[GRH06] Gilbert, C., A. Ropiquet & A. Hassanin. 2006. Mitochondrial and nuclear phylogenies of Cervidae (Mammalia, Ruminantia): Systematics, morphology, and biogeography. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 40 (1): 101-117.

[H78] Hamilton, W. R. 1978. Cervidae and Palaeomerycidae. In Evolution of African Mammals (V. J. Maglio & H. B. S. Cooke, eds) pp. 496-508. Harvard University Press: Cambridge (Massachusetts).

[HH06] Hughes, S., T. J. Hayden, C. J. Douady, C. Tougard, M. Germonpré, A. Stuart, L. Lbova, R. F. Carden, C. Hänni & L. Say. 2006. Molecular phylogeny of the extinct giant deer, Megaloceros giganteus. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 40 (1): 285-291.

[JS88] Janis, C. M., & K. M. Scott. 1988. The phylogeny of the Ruminantia (Artiodactyla, Mammalia). In The Phylogeny and Classification of the Tetrapods, vol. 2. Mammals (M. J. Benton, ed.) pp. 273-282. Clarendon Press: Oxford.

[LE05] Lister, A. M., C. J. Edwards, D. A. W. Nock, M. Bunce, I. A. van Pijlen, D. G. Bradley, M. G. Thomas & I. Barnes. 2005. The phylogenetic position of the ‘giant deer’ Megaloceros giganteus. Nature 438: 850-853.

[MH96] Miller, S. A., & J. P. Harley. 1996. Zoology (3rd ed.) Wm. C. Brown Publishers: Dubuque (Iowa).

[ME05] Moullé, P.-E., A. Echassoux, F. Lacombat, E. Desclaux & S. Bailon. 2005. L'environnement animal des premiers habitants de l'Europe méditerranéenne: les grands mammifères contemporains de l'homme du Vallonnet, données taxonomiques et biostratigraphiques pour la deuxième moitie du Pléistocène inférieur. BAR International Series 1364: 105-113.

[O87] Okamura, C. 1987. New facts: Homo and all Vertebrata were born simultaneously in the former Paleozoic in Japan. Original Report of the Okamura Fossil Laboratory 15: 347-573.

[RM98] Randi, E., N. Mucci, M. Pierpaoli & E. Douzery. 1998. New phylogenetic perspectives on the Cervidae (Artiodactyla) are provided by the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B – Biological Sciences 265: 793-801.

[TB01] Timm, R. M., & J. H. Brandt. 2001. Pseudonovibos spiralis (Artiodactyla: Bovidae): New information on this enigmatic south-east Asian ox. Journal of Zoology 253: 157-166.

[T66] Tristram, H. B. 1866. Report on the mammals of Palestine. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 84-93.

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