Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Artiodactyla
Family Cervidae

Cervidae is a family from the Artiodactyla order.


Deer weights generally range from 30 to 300 kilograms (70 to 700 lb), though the smallest species, the Northern Pudú, averages 10 kilograms (20 lb) and the largest, the moose, averages 431 kilograms (1,000 lb). They generally have lithe, compact bodies and long, powerful legs suited for rugged woodland terrain. Deer are also excellent jumpers and swimmers. Deer are ruminants, or cud-chewers, and have a four-chambered stomach. The teeth of deer are adapted to feeding on vegetation, and like other ruminants, they lack upper incisors, instead having a tough pad at the front of their upper jaw.


Note that the terms indicate the origin of the groups, not their modern distribution: the water deer, for example, is a New World species but is found only in China and Korea. It is thought that the new world group originates from the forests of North America and Siberia, the old world deer in Asia.

Extant subfamilies, genera and species

The deer family has at least 90 species; The list is based on the studies of Randi, Mucci, Claro-Hergueta, Bonnet and Douzery (2001); Pitraa, Fickela, Meijaard, Groves (2004); Ludt, Schroeder, Rottmann and Kuehn (2004); Hernandez-Fernandez and Vrba (2005); Groves (2006); Ruiz-Garcia, M., Randi, E., Martinez-Aguero, M. and Alvarez D. (2007); Duarte, J.M.B., Gonzalez, S. and Maldonado, J.E. (2008); Groves and Grubb (2011) The family Cervidae is organized as follows:

Genus Elaphodus

Genus Muntiacus

Tribe Cervini ("true" deer)

Genus Dama

Genus Axis

Genus Rucervus

Genus Panolia

Genus Elaphurus

Genus Hyelaphus

Genus Rusa

Genus Cervus

Genus Alces

Genus Capreolus

Genus Hydropotes

Genus Rangifer

Genus Hippocamelus

Genus Mazama

Genus Blastocerus

Genus Ozotoceros

Genus Pudu

Genus Odocoileus

Extinct subfamilies, genera and species

The following is the classification of extinct cervids only, as well as including living lineages that have some species known from the fossil record or that have become extinct.

Genus †Dicrocerus

  • †Dicrocerus elegans
  • †Dicrocerus furcatus
  • †Dicrocerus necatus
  • †Dicrocerus teres
  • †Dicrocerus trilateralis

Genus †Euprox

  • †Euprox robustus
  • †Euprox dicranocerus
  • †Euprox fulcatus

Genus †Stephanocemas

  • †Stephanocemas colberti
  • †Stephanocemas colbert
  • †Stephanocemas thomsoni
  • †Stephanocemas elegantulus
  • †Stephanocemas chinghaiensis
  • †Stephanocemas triacuminatus

Genus †Paracervulus

  • †Paracervulus australis

In other media


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