Deers are even-toed ungulates that belong to the order Artiodactyla and class Mammalia. The family Cervidae includes two main groups, namely: Cervinae and Capreolinae.
The members of the subfamily Cervinae are also called Old World Deers. They also possess an ankle structure which differs from Capreolinae, hence, they are called plesiometacarpal deer. Most members of this group are restricted to Eurasia and have adapted to a wide range of low-land environments – ranging from swamplands and grasslands to forests and floodplains. Only a handful of species are found in mountainous regions and high elevations. The subfamily Cervinae is further classified into two tribes:
- Cervini – True Deers
- Muntiacini – Muntjacs
True deers are usually larger in size and possess bigger antlers than Muntjacs. On the other hand, muntjacs are often seen as a primitive form, with their body structure resembling the ancestral stock from which the rest of the deer family evolved. Some Muntjacs also have “tusks” which arise from the upper canines.
The members of the subfamily Capreolinaea are also called New World Deers. They also possess an ankle structure which differs from Cervinae, hence, they are called telemetacarpal deer. Most members of this group are found in North and South America. Just 4 species of the 22 are found in Eurasia. This subfamily is further classified into 4 tribes, namely:
- Alceini – Mooses/ Elk
- Capreolini – Roe Deers
- Rangiferini – Caribou and reindeer
- Odocoileini – New world Deer
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Frequently Asked Questions on Deer Scientific Name
What is the scientific name of deer?
The scientific name of deer is Cervidae (family)
What are the two subfamilies of deers?
The Cervidae family is further classified into two main groups- Cervinae and Capreolinae.