20 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. ropalophorus is probably the most famous. It was the smallest of all the Cretan Deer and stood about 40 cm high. Its antlers were massive compared to its small body size and had a total length of 80 cm! This would mean that the antlers might exceeded the total head-to-tail length! The tip of the elongated antlers were bludgeon-shaped.
De Vos, 1984
van der Geer, A. A. (2018). Uniformity in variety: Antler morphology and evolution in a predator-free environment. Palaeontol Electron.