UCL Division of Biosciences


Extinct giant deer

4th September 2005

UCL (University College London) scientists have found that the closest living relative to the extinct Irish Elk (giant deer) lives on our shores. The team tested for DNA and skeletal features to prove that the giant deer - which roamed across Europe and Siberia with prehistoric man and is the subject of numerous cave drawings - has its DNA in common with the fallow deer, one of the most widespread deer in the UK since their introduction by the Normans in the eleventh century.

Official press release from UCL's press office

Newspaper coverage from the international press.

"The phylogenetic position of the 'giant deer' Megaloceros giganteus"  published in Nature