Variation among New & Old World Deer

    The typical deer of the Old World is the Red Deer (left); a similar form, the Wapiti or American Elk (right) occurs in North America. Early explorers recognized that the forms were sufficiently similar that both are classified as Cervus elaphus, but that there were also clear differences that allow them to be recognized as distinct subspecies. Other examples included Moose (Alces alces) and Old World Reindeer vs New World Caribou (Rangifer tarandus). Differences between the continental forms are borne out by genetic studies.

Text material © 2018 by Steven M. Carr