Taxon profile


Praemegaceros verticornis (Dawkins, 1872)

kingdom Animalia - animals »  phylum Chordata - chordates »  class Mammalia - mammals »  order Cetartiodactyla - even-toed ungulates »  family Cervidae - deer and moose »  genus Praemegaceros

Scientific synonyms

Cervus verticornis Dawkins, 1872 o
Megaceros verticornis (Dawkins, 1872)
Megaloceros verticornis (Dawkins, 1872)
Orthogonoceros verticornis (Dawkins, 1872)

Taxon in country check-lists*

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Diagnosis (CROTIOR, 2006): The body size is very large. Antlers are heavy, with horizontal proximal portions and the vertical distal portions oriented in the parasagittal plane. The antler base is set at right angles with respect to the burr plane. The beam is curved in the area of dorsal tine and sharply turns upright in the area of posterior tine. The subbasal tine is not present. The dorsal tine is of moderate length, cylindrical, situated on the upper (medial) side of the beam and twisted toward the anterior. The middle tine is inserted on the anterior side of the beam, rather long, sharp, non-palmed. The distal portion above the posterior tine may be branched and some-what compressed from the sides, or may extend into a fan-shaped palmation. Pedicles are robust, dorso-ventrally compressed and oriented in the frontal plane. Lower P4 normally is molarized. The lingual walls of upper premolars are not cleft or grooved. The hypocone of premolars is supplemented with a small interior enamel fold. The pachyostosis of lower mandible is not developed.
The original citation of Cervus verticornis includes the description of two antlers of different size, which was supposed to belong to a mature and a juvenile individuals (DAWKINS 1872: 407). DAWKINS quoted the detailed description of the larger “mature” specimen. Later, NEWTON (1882) designated the larger antler as a lectotype of C. verticornis species (NEWTON 1882 fide RADULESCO & SAMSON 1967). The original specimen is stored in the Norwich Museum. The presented in 1867 by C. FALCONER cast of lectotype is stored in NHML (collection number M40835). The collection label does not provide the exact reference to the locality of provenance, stating that the specimen is “believed to be from the beach near Pakefield, Norfolk”. Since the specimen selected by NEWTON (1882) preserves only the basal part of the antlers, RADULESCO & SAMSON (1967) select another better-preserved specimen from Pakefield (M11352, NHML) as a paratype of P. verticornis. As a matter of fact, this last specimen had been already used as the type specimen of Cervus belgrandi HARMER 1899.

Links and literature

Pfeiffer T., 2002: The first complete skeleton of Megaloceros verticornis (Dawkins, 1868) Cervidae, Mammalia, from Bilshausen (Lower Saxony, Germany): description and phylogenetic implications. Mitteilungen aus dem Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin, Geowissenschaftliche Reihe, 5(1): 289–308. [as Megaloceros verticornis]
CROITOR, R., 2006. Taxonomy and systematics of large-sized deer of the genus Praemegaceros Portis, 1920 (Cervidae, Mammalia). In: R. D. Kahlke, L. C. Maul, P. P. A. Mazza (Eds.): Late Neogene and Quaternary biodiversity and evolution: Regional developments and interregional correlations. Volume I. Courrier Forsch.-Institut Senckenberg, 256, 91-116.
Data retrieved on: 30 November 2015

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extinct taxon

o original combination

species extinct in area described by check-list