Temporal range: Pleistocene–0.011
The stag-moose (Cervalces scotti) was a large, moose-like deer of North America during the Pleistocene epoch. It is the only known North American member of the genus Cervalces. It was slightly larger than the moose, with an elk-like head, long legs, and complex, palmate antlers. Cervalces scotti reached 2.5 m (8.2 ft) in height and a weight of 708.5 kg (1,562 lb). The species went extinct approximately 11,500 years ago, toward the end of the most recent ice age, as part of a mass extinction of large North American mammals.
The first evidence of the stag-moose found in modern times was discovered at Big Bone Lick, Kentucky by William Clark, circa 1805. A more complete skeleton was found in 1885 by William Barryman Scott in New Jersey. Mummified remains have also been found.
The stag-moose frequented wetlands in a range from southern Canada to Arkansas and from Iowa to New Jersey. As the glaciers retreated, moose (which had crossed the Bering land bridge from Asia) may have populated its habitat and caused its extinction by competition. Although there is no paleontological evidence that it was associated with humans, other theories for its extinction have been proposed. Notably, there is speculation that hunting by newly arrived humans caused the extinction of the stag-moose and other large mammals. Additionally, some have proposed a sudden extinction by disease, brought by small mammals in association with humans.
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