The Irsh Elk is one of the largest deer that ever lived. The antlers of the Irish elk are the largets antler of all known species of deer. It had a span up to 3,65-4,0 meters and weighed up to 40 kg. In order to grow 40 kg heavy antlers every year; a lot of calcium and phosphate rich food is required

The deer got its name, as there are found many Irish elks in Irish bogs, but it actually lived in an area spanning from the Northern Africa and all the way to China and Siberia. In Denmark there are 11 findings of Irish elk, among others in a grav pit near Svenstrup.

There are several theories as to why the Irish elk became extinct. Changes in the environment and resources as well as the humans hunt, are some of the suggested theories. The enormous antlers have with out a doubt been a disadvantage in the denser forest, which was a result of the warmer climate. Perhaps the disappearance of the Irish elk was a combination of several factors?

Classification – Family

The Irish elk is closely related to the red deer.


Scientific name: Megaloceros giganteus

Height: shoulder-height approx. 2,1 m.

weight: 540-600 kg, up to 700 kg for the largest individuals.

Food source: Grass, herbs, and other vegetation.

Distribution: Meadows and open forest in Europe, Northern Asia and Africa, and parts of China.

Status: Emerged approx. 1 million years ago. The oldest finding is from Ireland and it is 400,000 years old. The latest finding is registered in Siberia, and it is 7,700 years old. The Irish Elk became extinct in Denmark 8-10,000 years ago.