Megaloceros skeleton display at Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris.
Megaloceros (from Greek: μεγαλος, megalos + κερας, keras, literally “Great Horn”; see also Lister ) is an extinct genus of deer whose members lived throughout Eurasia from the late Pliocene to the Late Pleistocene 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.
Most members of the genus were extremely large animals that favoured meadows or open woodlands, with most species averaging slightly below 2 metres at the withers. The various species of the Cretan genus Candiacervus – the smallest of which, C. rhopalophorus was just 65 cm high at the shoulder – are sometimes included in Megaloceros as a subgenus.