Cretan Dwarf Deer
23 feb. 2020
Candiacervus, or Cretan Deer, is an extinct genus of deer that thrived on the Greek island of Crete during the Pleistocene epoch. They weren't just ordinary deer: besides their spatula- or club-shaped antlers, their small size was their most notable feature. Some species just reached 40 cm at the shoulders! They were even closely related to the giant Megaloceros deer from the mainland. Candiacervus evolved in mutiple species to occupy all potential niches on the island, ranging from dense forests to rocky outcrops.
A total of ten species of Candiacervus are known at the moment, of which C. cretensis is one of the middle-sized species that lived on the island of Crete. It stood 65 cm high and weighed about 30 kg. Its antlers were thin and elongated.
Geist, V. (1987). On speciation in Ice Age mammals, with special reference to cervids and caprids. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 65(5), 1067-1084.