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Eucladoceros

Eucladoceros
Temporal range: Early Pliocene to Early Pleistocene
Eucladoceros dicranios.JPG
Eucladoceros dicranios
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Cervidae
Subfamily: Cervinae
Genus: Eucladoceros
Falconer, 1868
Species
  • E. boulei (1928)
  • E. dichotomus
  • E. dicranios (1841)
  • E. senezensis (1910)
  • E. teguliensis (1841)
  • E. tetraceros (1878)
Synonyms

Polycladus Pomel, 1854

Eucladoceros (Greek for "well-branched antler") or bush-antlered deer is an extinct genus of deer whose fossils have been discovered in Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia. This genus was formally described by Hugh Falconer in 1868.

Description

Eucladoceros tegulensis

Eucladoceros was a large deer, reaching 2.5 metres (8.2 ft) in body length and standing about 1.8 metres (5.9 ft) tall at the shoulder, only slightly smaller than a modern moose. It had a spectacular set of antlers which split into twelve tines per pedicle, and were up to 1.7 metres (5.6 ft) wide.

The most distinctive feature of Eucladoceros was its comb-like antlers, especially in E. ctenoides. E. dicranios is the most evolved species of the genus, with a dichotomous branching of each antler tine. Eucladoceros was the first deer genus to have highly evolved antlers; however its cranial shape and dental morphology remained primitive, as in Rusa unicolor.

Distribution

Eucladoceros senezensis fossil

The first find (E. dicranios) was in 1841 by Florentine naturalist Filippo Nesti, director of the "Museo di Storia Naturale di Firenze" ("Museum of Natural History of Florence"). The earliest species of Eucladoceros was described from the Early Pliocene of China. The most abundant fossil remains of Eucladoceros have come from the Early Pleistocene of Europe and China.

The systematics of European forms is confused and up to twelve poorly defined species are reported. The majority of those species names are synonymous, and at present only two or three good species are recognized: E. dicranios from England, Italy and Azov Sea Area in South Russia; E. ctenoides from Greece, Italy, France, Spain, the Netherlands, and England; and E. teguliensis (a senior synonym of E. senezensis) from France, the Netherlands, and Britain. The latter species is regarded by some authors as a subspecies of E. ctenoides, since there are some finds (for instance, from Ceyssaguet, France) that show a transitional character between E. ctenoides and E. teguliensis.

Some poor remains of Eucladoceros are found also in Tajikistan, Pakistan, and India.

Species

  • Eucladoceros boulei Marcellin Boule (1928), Age: Latest Pliocene - Early Pleistocene; Nihowan, China
  • Eucladoceros ctenoides (former name E. teguliensis) F. Nesti (1841), Age: Early Pleistocene, Late Villafranchian; Locus typicus: Upper Valdarno, Tuscany, Italy
  • Eucladoceros dichotomus (Original citation: Cervus (Elaphurus) dichotomus Teilhard de Chardin & Piveteau; Early Pleistocene of Nohowan; most probably is not a Eucladoceros species)
  • Eucladoceros dicranios Filippo Nesti (1841), Age: Early Pleistocene, Late Villafranchian; Upper Valdarno, Tuscany, Italy. Note: the type species of the genus.
  • Eucladoceros proboulei (Dong Wey), Age: Early Pliocene; China
  • Eucladoceros senezensis Charles Depéret, 1910, Senèze (Haute-Loire), near Brioude, France. Note: some authors regard it as a subspecies of E. ctenoides.
  • Eucladoceros tetraceros Sir Wm. Boyd Dawkins (1878), Age: Early Pleistocene; Peyrolles, Haute-Loire, France. Note: a possible synonym of E. ctenoides.

This page was last updated at 2022-01-04 00:30 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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