Irish Elk

Megaloceros giganteus

With a weight of up to 700 kg, the Irish elk is the largest deer ever to have existed. It was hunted for its large antlers.

It evolved over a few million years during Ice Age and was widespread across Eurasia. Eventually it could not adapt to changing vegetation and increasing hunting activity.


Countries where the Irish Elk lived


The Irish elk lived in dense forests close to the rivers.

Irish Elk habitat


The cause of the extinction of the Irish elk is unclear, but is generally thought to be one of 2 factors:

  1. Hunted by humans for its gigantic antlers.

  2. A reduction in forest density leading to a lack of available minerals. The Irish elk required large amounts of minerals to maintain its antlers.

Extinction Year
6000 BC