Behaviour

Sexual dimorphism is reduced in living moose in comparison to other deer, perhaps because of their different social structure, lacking a dominant male leading a female harem.

The adult bull lives alone and fights other males to conquer the single female and not for a seasonal role of herd leading, as in the other Eurasian deer, giant deer included.

The same ethology can be inferred for the genus Cervalces, because its remains, even if distributed in a wide geographical range, are always scanty in comparison with those of other Quaternary ungulates. This concurs with the observation that Cervalces, being a specialised browser, could have not afforded large social-groupings in winter and must have lived fairly dispersed.

Probably Eurasian Cervalces antlers were too wide and heavy to be used as defensive or aggressive weapons. Moreover, the antler shape is not designed to lock with another male’s antler during wrestling. This suggests they were merely display organs.

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Glossary
Articular facet of the ungueal phalanx

Portion of the phalanx bearing the nails/claws which articulates to the previous finger/toe bones.

Chronospecies

A group of organisms that is derived from its ancestor (and/or develops into its descendant) by a process of slow, steady, evolutionary change and is not regarded as a member of the same species as its ancestor and/or descendant.

Cuneiforms

Bones of the ankle.

Ethology

Scientific study of animal behaviour.

Forbs

Herbaceous flowering plants that are not graminoids (grasses, sedges and rushes). The term is used in vegetation ecology to represent a guild of grassland plant species with broadly similar growth form, which in ecology is often more important than taxonomic relationship.

Holotype

The single specimen designated by an author to formally describe a new species.

Navico-cuboid

Main bone of the ankle of Ruminant animals.

Non-gregarious

Non-social, solitary

Metapodials

Hand and foot bones between the fingers/toes and the wrist/ankle.

Palustrine

Living in a marsh or swamp.

Phalanges

Bones of the fingers and toes.

Phyletic lineage

Ancestor-descendent populations that undergo morphological change over time.

Telmatic vegetation

Vegetation living in the swamp zone of a lake developing into a bog.