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Palaeomerycidae (infra-order Pecora, superfamily Cervoidea) A family of pecorans that appear to be ancestral to the deer and giraffes, and of which the musk-deer (Moschus) may be a surviving representative. The limbs and teeth resembled those of later groups. Most forms lacked horns, and some had enlarged upper canines which formed tusks. Where horns existed they appear not to have been shed and probably they were covered with skin, as in modern giraffes or in the short pedicel at the base of deer antlers. The family had a wide Holarctic distribution during the late Oligocene and Miocene, and some genera survived into the Pliocene.
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