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Temporal range: Late Pleistocene (Lujanian)
~0.8–0.011 Ma
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Cervidae
Subfamily: Capreolinae
Genus: Morenelaphus
Carette 1922
M. brachyceros
Binomial name
Morenelaphus brachyceros

Morenelaphus is an extinct genus of capreoline deer that lived in South America during the Pleistocene, ranging from the Pampas to southern Bolivia and Northeast Brazil. There is only a single recognised species, Morenelaphus brachyceros. It was a large deer, with some specimens estimated to exceed 200 kilograms in body mass.[1] The antlers were over 70 cm in length, and are superficially similar those of deer belonging to the subfamily Cervinae, like red deer.[2] Fossils of the genus have been recovered from the Agua Blanca, Fortín Tres Pozos and Luján Formations of Argentina, the Ñuapua Formation of Bolivia, Santa Vitória do Palmar in southern Brazil, Paraguay and the Sopas Formation of Uruguay.[3]

Dental microwear analysis suggests Morenelaphus had a mixed-feeder diet, including grass and perhaps with the occasional ingestion of gritstone. It went extinct during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition, around 12,000 years ago, possibly as a result of climate change and nutritional stress.[4]


  1. ^ Alline Rotti; Raúl Ignacio Vezzosi; Dimila Mothé; Leonardo dos Santos Avilla (16 January 2021). "Rising from the ashes: The biggest South American deers (Cetartiodactyla: Cervidae) once roamed Northeast Brazil". Journal of South American Earth Sciences. Bibcode:2021JSAES.10803154R. doi:10.1016/J.JSAMES.2021.103154. ISSN 0895-9811. Wikidata Q104936917.
  2. ^ Croitor, Roman (2022-11-06). "Paleobiogeography of Crown Deer". Earth. 3 (4): 1138–1160. Bibcode:2022Earth...3.1138C. doi:10.3390/earth3040066. ISSN 2673-4834.
  3. ^ Morenelaphus at
  4. ^ Alline Rotti; Dimila Mothé; Leonardo dos Santos Avilla; Gina M. Semprebon (15 May 2018). "Diet reconstruction for an extinct deer (Cervidae: Cetartiodactyla) from the Quaternary of South America". Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 497: 244–252. Bibcode:2018PPP...497..244R. doi:10.1016/J.PALAEO.2018.02.026. ISSN 0031-0182. Wikidata Q56522729.