Skip to main content

Cervidae

Cervidae (deer; infra-order Pecora, superfamily Cervoidea) A family of browsing or grazing animals, which appeared in Eurasia in Miocene and early Pliocene times and had radiated widely by the end of the Pliocene. Some of the later Pleistocene representatives (e.g. Megaceros giganteus, the Irish elk), were giant types, much larger than the surviving forms. The horns (antlers) are complex in many species but simple in ancestral and some primitive species, and absent in Hydropotes (Chinese water deer); usually they are present only in the male (but in Rangifer they are present in both sexes). Usually they are shed annually. Ancestral and some modern species (e.g. Hydropotes) have canine tusks. The feet have four digits. Most species (but not all) are gregarious, living in herds with elaborate social organization. They have a Holarctic distribution. There are about 16 genera, and 43 species, including Cervus (red deer and wapiti or American elk are included in C. elaphus), Rangifer (reindeer or caribou is R. tarandus), Alces (European elk and American moose are both A. alces), Capreolus (roe deer), Dama (fallow deer), and Muntiacus (muntjaks). Moschus (musk-deer), formerly placed in Cervidae, nowadays is universally referred to a separate family, Moschidae.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Cervidae." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. 14 Dec. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Cervidae." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 14, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cervidae

"Cervidae." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Retrieved December 14, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cervidae

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.