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

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

The Cervidae, deers, are a family of ruminants in which the majority of members possess antlers, paired cranial appendages with a deciduous distal portion. Antlers are absent in the Chinese water deer Hydropotes inermis and very small in the tufted deer Elaphodus cephalophus of China and Myanmar. The Cervidae are otherwise 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).

    |--Cervinae [Plesiometacarpalia] GRH06
    |    |--Cervini GRH06
    |    `--Muntiacini [Muntiacinae] GRH06
    |         |--+--Muntiacus GRH06
    |         |  `--Dicrocerus Lartet 1839 FS15, C77 [incl. Cosoryx C77]
    |         |       |--D. dichotomus C77
    |         |       |--D. elegans D07
    |         |       |--D. furcatus (Leidy 1869) [=Cosoryx furcatus; incl. C. ramosus Cope 1874] C77
    |         |       |--D. gemmifer (Cope 1873) [=Cosoryx gemmifer] C77
    |         |       |--D. grangeri D07
    |         |       |--D. necatus (Leidy 1854) [=Merycodus necatus; incl. Cervus warrenii Leidy 1858] C77
    |         |       |--D. tehuanus Cope 1876 C77
    |         |       |--D. teres (Cope 1874) [=Cosoryx teres] C77
    |         |       `--D. trilateralis Cope 1876 C77
    |         `--Elaphodus Milne-Edwards 1871 GRH06
    |              `--E. cephalophus GRH06
    `--Capreolinae [Neocervinae, Odocoileinae, Telemetacarpalia] GRH06
         |--Odocoileini HH06
         `--+--Alceini [Alcinae, Alcini] HH06
            |    |--Cervalces Scott 1885 GRH06, D07
            |    |    `--C. scotti D07
            |    `--Alces Gray 1821 GRH06
            |         |  i. s.: A. palmatus T66
            |         |--A. scotti FS15
            |         `--+--A. alces (Linnaeus 1758) FS15, F99
            |            `--A. americanus FS15
            `--Capreolini HH06
                 |--Procapreolus GRH06
                 |--Hydropotes Swinhoe 1870 [Hydropotinae, Hydropotini] GRH06
                 |    `--H. inermis HH06
                 `--Capreolus Gray 1821 GRH06
                      |  i. s.: C. caprea M01
                      |         C. matheronis (Gervais 1850) H78
                      |         C. tokunagai Otuka 1941 AC98
                      |--*C. capreolus GRH06, FS15
                      `--+--C. miyakoensis Otsuka 1973 FS15, AC98
                         `--C. pygargus (Pallas 1771) FS15, M01 [=Cervus pygargus M01, Ce. capreolus pygargus] M01]
                              |--C. p. pygargus M01
                              |--C. p. leptocerus M01
                              `--C. p. pachycerus M01

Cervidae incertae sedis:
  Megamuntiacus vuquangensis Tuoc, Dung et al. 1994 TB01
  Eucladoceros Falconer 1868 D07
    |--E. boulei DW04
    |--E. ctenoides D07
    |--E. dicranios D07
    `--E. tetraceros D07
  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
  Euprox Kaup 1839 D07
    |--E. dicranocerus D07
    |--E. furcatus D07
    `--E. robustus D07

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

*Type species of generic name indicated


[AC98] Alcover, J. A., X. Campillo, M. Macias & A. Sans. 1998. Mammal species of the world: additional data on insular mammals. American Museum Novitates 3248: 1–29.

[C77] Cope, E. D. 1877. 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.

[D07] Dixon, D. 2007. The Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures. Hermes House: London.

[FS15] Faurby, S., & J.-C. Svenning. 2015. A species-level phylogeny of all extant and late Quaternary extinct mammals using a novel heuristic-hierarchical Bayesian approach. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 84: 14–26.

[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: Maglio, V. J., & H. B. S. Cooke (eds) Evolution of African Mammals 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: Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Phylogeny and Classification of the Tetrapods vol. 2. Mammals pp. 273–282. Clarendon Press: Oxford.

[M01] Méhely, L. 1901. Emlősök [Säugethiere]. In: Horváth, G. (ed.) Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazása [Dritte Asiatische Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] vol. 2. Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazásának Állattani Eredményei [Zoologische Ergebnisse der Dritten Asiatischen Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] pp. 1–19. Victor Hornyánszky: Budapest, and Karl W. Hierseman: Leipzig.

[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.

[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.

Last updated: 24 July 2018.

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