Rucervus

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Rucervus
Barasingha.jpg
Barasingha stag
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Cervidae
Subfamily: Cervinae
Genus: Rucervus
Hodgson, 1838
Type species
Cervus duvaucelii
(Cuvier, 1823)
Species

See text

Rucervus is a genus of deer from India, Nepal, Indochina, and the Chinese island of Hainan. The only extant representatives, the barasingha (R. duvaucelii) and Eld's deer (R. eldii), are threatened by habitat loss and hunting, and another species ( R. schomburgki) became extinct in 1938. [1] The species of the genus Rucervus are characterized by a specific antler structure: its basal ramification is often supplemented with an additional small prong, the middle tine is never present, while the crown tines are inserted on the posterior side of the beam and may be bifurcated or fused into a small palmation.

Contents

Species

Extant species

Extinct species

According to the old tradition of zoological taxonomy, swamp deer originally were regarded as members of the genus Cervus. Rucervus was originally proposed by Hodgson [2] as a subgenus of the genus Cervus. The original definition of Rucervus was mostly based on antler shape believed to be intermediate between that of 'elaphus' and 'hippelaphus'. Hodgson [2] reported that upper canines are present only in males of barasingha, but the additional craniological material shows that upper canines are present in both sexes. [3] Eld's deer was regarded as another species of the genus Rucervus, however, the recent genetic evidences suggest that the Eld's deer should be moved back to Cervus, [4] or placed in its own genus, Panolia. [5] [6] It has recently been place back into Rucervus by the American Society of Mammalogists. [7]

Rucervus is an ancient cervid lineage that--together with the genus Axis --represents the oldest evolutionary radiation of the subfamily Cervinae (plesiometacarpal deer). [4]

Paleontological record

The fossil species of Rucervus of Europe were included in the genus Arvernoceros Heintz, 1971 (the type species: Cervus ardei Croizet & Jobert, 1828) or in the genus Eucladoceros , as in the case of R. giulii. Today, Arvernoceros is regarded as a subgenus of Rucervus. [3] The European fossil forms of Rucervus are distinguished from the South Asian species by more compact crown part of the antler and by the frequent development of a small distal palmation as for instance in R. ardei and R. radulescui. South Asian fossil forms of Rucervus are represented by large-sized R. simplicidens and R. colberti. The late Early Pleistocene of Greece has yielded the remains of a giant species R. gigans that rivaled in size Irish elk Megaloceros giganteus , The giant Rucervus from Greece is distinguished by unusually for such a large animal long limbs and apparently is closely related to R. simplicidens and R. colberti from the Sivaliks. [3] The Southwest-Europe endemic Mid to early Late Pleistocene genus Haploidoceros is regarded as closely allied. [8]

Related Research Articles

Elds deer Asia ruminant mammal species

Eld's deer, also known as the thamin or brow-antlered deer, is an endangered species of deer endemic to South Asia.

Red deer Species of mammal

The red deer is one of the largest deer species. A male red deer is called a stag or hart, and a female is called a hind. The red deer inhabits most of Europe, the Caucasus Mountains region, Asia Minor, Iran, parts of western Asia, and central Asia. It also inhabits the Atlas Mountains region between Morocco and Tunisia in northwestern Africa, being the only species of deer to inhabit Africa. Red deer have been introduced to other areas, including Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, Peru, Uruguay, Chile, and Argentina. In many parts of the world, the meat (venison) from red deer is used as a food source.

Irish elk Extinct species of deer

The Irish elk also called the giant deer or Irish deer, is an extinct species of deer in the genus Megaloceros and is one of the largest deer that ever lived. Its range extended across Eurasia during the Pleistocene, from Ireland to Lake Baikal in Siberia. The most recent remains of the species have been carbon dated to about 7,700 years ago in western Russia.

<i>Megaloceros</i> Extinct genus of mammals in the family Cervidae

Megaloceros is an extinct genus of deer whose members lived throughout Eurasia from the early Pleistocene to the beginning of the Holocene and were important herbivores during the Ice Ages. The largest species, Megaloceros giganteus, vernacularly known as the "Irish elk" or "Giant elk", is also the best known. Fallow deer are thought to be their closest living relatives. Megaloceros is part of the deer family which includes moose, elk, reindeer, and other cervids.

Chital Species of deer

The chital, also known as spotted deer, chital deer, and axis deer, is a species of deer that is native to the Indian subcontinent. It was first described by German naturalist Johann Christian Polycarp Erxleben in 1777. A moderate-sized deer, male chital reach nearly 90 cm (35 in) and females 70 cm (28 in) at the shoulder. While males weigh 30–75 kg (66–165 lb), the lighter females weigh 25–45 kg (55–99 lb). It is sexually dimorphic; males are larger than females, and antlers are present only on males. The upper parts are golden to rufous, completely covered in white spots. The abdomen, rump, throat, insides of legs, ears, and tail are all white. The antlers, three-pronged, are nearly 1 m (3.3 ft) long.

Schomburgks deer Extinct species of deer

The Schomburgk's deer was a member of the family Cervidae. Native to central Thailand, Schomburgk's deer was described by Edward Blyth in 1863 and named after Sir Robert H. Schomburgk, who was the British consul in Bangkok from 1857 to 1864. It is thought to have gone extinct by 1938, but there is speculation that the deer might still exist.

Barasingha species of deer

The barasingha, also called swamp deer, is a deer species distributed in the Indian subcontinent. Populations in northern and central India are fragmented, and two isolated populations occur in southwestern Nepal. It has been extirpated in Pakistan and Bangladesh, and its presence is uncertain in Bhutan.

<i>Eucladoceros</i> An extinct genus of mammals belonging to the deer, muntjac, roe deer, reindeer, and moose family of ruminants

Eucladoceros 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.

Cervinae Subfamily of deer

The Cervinae or the Old World deer, are a subfamily of deer. Alternatively, they are known as the plesiometacarpal deer, due to their ankle structure being different from the telemetacarpal deer of the Capreolinae.

<i>Candiacervus</i> Extinct genus of deer

Candiacervus is an extinct genus of deer native to Pleistocene Crete. Due to a lack of other herbivores, the genus underwent an adaptive radiation, filling niches occupied by other taxa on the mainland. Due to the small size of Crete, the genus underwent insular dwarfism, the smallest species, C. ropalophorus, stood about 40 cm at the shoulders when fully grown, as can be inferred from a mounted skeleton. Some species are noted for their peculiar, spatula-shaped antlers, though other species have normal albeit miniaturized antlers. Other features are the relatively short limbs, the massivity of the bones and the simplified antler.

Philippine deer Species of deer

The Philippine deer, also known as the Philippine sambar or Philippine brown deer, is a vulnerable deer species endemic to the Philippines. It was first described from introduced populations in Guam and the Marianas Islands, hence the specific name.

Sangai Subspecies of deer

The sangai is an endemic and endangered subspecies of Eld's deer found only in Manipur, India. It is also the state animal of Manipur. Its common English name is Manipur brow-antlered deer or Eld's deer and the scientific name is Rucervus eldii eldii. Its original natural habitat is the floating marshy grasslands of the Keibul Lamjao National Park, located in the southern parts of the Loktak Lake, which is the largest freshwater lake in eastern India.

Indian hog deer Species of deer

The Indian hog deer is a small deer native to the Indo-Gangetic Plain in Pakistan, northern India, Nepal, Bangladesh to mainland Southeast Asia. It also occurs in western Thailand and southwestern Yunnan Province in China. Introduced populations exist in Australia.

<i>Praemegaceros</i> An extinct genus of mammals belonging to the deer, muntjac, roe deer, reindeer, and moose family of ruminants

Praemegaceros is an extinct genus of deer. It also contains the subgenera Orthogonoceros and Nesoleipoceros. It has sometimes been synonymised with Megaloceros and Megaceroides, however they have been found to be generically distinct.

<i>Croizetoceros</i> Extinct genus of deer

Croizetoceros is an extinct genus of deer which lived throughout much of Europe, first appearing during the last stages of the Miocene and living until the Early Pleistocene.

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<i>Megaceroides algericus</i> Extinct species of deer

Megaceroides algericus is an extinct species of deer known from the Late Pleistocene to Holocene of North Africa. It is one of only two species of deer known to have been native to the African continent, alongside the Barbary stag, a subspecies of red deer. It is considered to be closely related to the giant deer species of Eurasia.

<i>Sinomegaceros</i> Extinct genus of mammals

Sinomegaceros is an extinct genus of deer known from the Early to Late Pleistocene of East Asia. It is considered to be part of the group of "giant deer", with a probable close relationship to Megaloceros. Many members of the genus are noted for their distinctive palmate antler brow tines.

Haploidoceros is an extinct genus of deer that lived in Europe during the Pleistocene. It contains a single species, Haploidoceros mediterraneus. Fossils have been found mainly in France, as well as the Iberian peninsula.

References

  1. Ellis, Richard (2004). No Turning Back: The Life and Death of Animal Species. New York: Harper Perennial. pp. 311–312. ISBN   0-06-055804-0.
  2. 1 2 Hodgson, B.H. 1838. Proceedings of Learned Societies. Linnaean Society, Feb. 20, 1838. Ann. Nat. Hist., 1, 152-154.
  3. 1 2 3 Croitor, Roman (2018-09-11). "A Description of Two New Species of the Genus Rucervus (Cervidae, Mammalia) from the Early Pleistocene of Southeast Europe, with Comments on Hominin and South Asian Ruminants Dispersals". Quaternary. 1 (2): 17. doi: 10.3390/quat1020017 .
  4. 1 2 Pitraa, Fickela, Meijaard, Groves (2004). Evolution and phylogeny of old world deer. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 33: 880–895.
  5. Groves (2006). The genus Cervus in eastern Eurasia. European Journal of Wildlife Research 52: 14–22
  6. Groves, C. and Grubb, P. 2011. Ungulate Taxonomy. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA.
  7. "Rucervus eldii". ASM Mammal Diversity Database. 1.5. American Society of Mammalogists . Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  8. Croitor, Roman; Sanz, Montserrat; Daura, Joan (2020-03-15). "The endemic deer Haploidoceros mediterraneus (Bonifay) (Cervidae, Mammalia) from the Late Pleistocene of Cova del Rinoceront (Iberian Peninsula): origin, ecomorphology, and paleobiology". Historical Biology. 32 (3): 409–427. doi:10.1080/08912963.2018.1499018. ISSN   0891-2963.