In “The Hobbit”, Thrandil’s mount is a giant deer with huge horns.
If you have seen “The Hobbit” then surely many people are very impressed with the king of the Kingdom of Thrandil Forest Land – an Elves king with very cold beauty.
Thranduil rides a huge deer with huge horns, if you think it is a fiction animal, in fact, this animal is not fiction, they are completely real and have existed on Earth. our. The grandiose beauty of that majestic mount is said to be inspired by the image of the Irish elk (Megaloceros giganteus) that went extinct around 7,700 years ago.
Irish elk’s skull (Megaloceros giganteus).
As early as the 17th century Europe, huge horns of Irish elk were found in caves, the size of their horns was significantly larger than the deer deer ever known. . Thanks to this feature, the German biologist Blumenbach classified them into the megaloceros deer.
From a taxonomic standpoint, the Irish elk belongs to the deer family, which is Artiodactyla mammal and they are also one of the largest members of the deer family.
Deer deer belong to the deer family in the order of the Artiodactyla mammal, which is one of the largest members of the family. Despite the name deer, biologists have shown that they are more closely related to deer than deer.
This species has been widely distributed in the north of Eurasia from Europe to China, and is one of the most common species in the late Pleistocene in the North.
It is the largest elk ever to exist on Earth, weighing hundreds of kilograms, more than 2 meters high and measuring up to 4 meters across the antlers. Despite being named Ireland elk, research shows that they are not only living in Ireland and they are more closely related to deer than deer. However, the name of this species is associated with the country of Ireland because the most beautiful and perfect fossils of their species are mainly found in Irish swamps.
Ireland is located in the Atlantic Ocean and the number of deer deer living here today is not really much. In the 17th century, giant horns and other bone fossils of this elk were found in lake bed sediments and peat swamps in Ireland.
When biologists saw the giant skeletons of the Irish elk, some thought they were closely related to reindeer living in Europe and some thought they were close relatives with the deer. live in North America.
And at first they did not think that this was an extinct animal. Instead, they thought that this animal was still hiding in a corner of the Earth that humans have yet to discover.
But the French naturalist and zoology Cuvier has countered all of these views, because through their bone research, he asserts that this is an animal closely related to modern deer and they are an extinct animal.
But since the initial findings showed that their bones were very similar to elk’s bones, and Ireland was the first place in the world to have discovered this animal, so they were named Irish elk or Irish giant deer, but The official scientific name of this species is Megaloceros giganteus. The Irish elk is the most famous paleontological creature in Ireland and is one of the symbols of this country.
Ireland elk is a species of animal with a large body and very harmonious body ratio. The most outstanding feature of this species is the huge pair of horns on the head, the maximum width of the pair of horns can reach 4 meters and weigh 45kg.
The body length of Irish elk can range from 2.5 to 3 meters, their shoulder height is 2.1 meters, if including the horns, they can be up to 3 meters high. The average weight of males is between 550 and 600 kg, some individuals in particular can weigh more than 700kg.
With such size and weight, this is not the largest species of deer deer ever known. North American elk today is even bigger than them, with a shoulder height of more than 2 meters and a weight that can reach nearly 1,000 kg. But there is an undeniable fact that the Irish elk is the species with the largest pair of giant horns in the deer family.
Elk living in North America today is a bit bigger than the Irish elk.
There was initially speculation that the extinction of the Irish elk took place simultaneously with the extinction of large mammals such as mammoths and saber-tooth tigers. The main cause of this extinction event is human hunting. But through recent research, scientists have confirmed that the extinction of this species is not related to humans.
When the last glacial period of the Pleistocene ended, the Earth’s temperature began to rise and the natural environment in northern Eurasia appeared to change dramatically, and the grasslands were replaced by forests.
Changes in the environment have put great pressure on the existence of this elk, their habitat is narrowed and food intake is reduced. To grow huge horns, animals need to get lots of calcium and phosphates from food, and when food intake is insufficient, they gradually develop osteoporosis.
In this way, the disappearance of Irish elk is primarily caused by climate change and not by humans. They have come to the dead end of evolution and cannot adapt to changes in the environment.