The Cervidae holds two subfamilies: the Old World deer of the Cervinae and the New World deer of the Capreolinae.
Nonetheless, there is agreement that the majority of deer (i.e.
all those except the Musk deer of the south Asian mountains) can be grouped within a single family: the Cervidae.
to produce fertile offspring -- with contiguous populations of Red deer.
Consequently, many scientists prefer to think of as a “superspecies” or “ring species”, containing a number of very closely-related animals that can all be considered Red deer. The idea that Red deer and wapiti are distinct species is not a new one; some of the first suggestions were made in 1737 and wapitis were first elevated to the species level by German naturalist Georg Heinrich Borowski in 1780.
In particular, Dr Lönnberg describes the skulls of two stags killed in Glenquoich Forest in Invernesshire, north-west Scotland.
The skulls displayed some features in common with Swedish (It is accordingly neither identical with the typical race of southern Sweden nor with the race of western Norway and most probably forms an independent geographic race or subspecies which suitably may be termed .
Work by taxonomists from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s led to the splitting of wapiti and Red deer based on data from skeletal measurements, protein assays and haemoglobin morphology.
However, in their review of the situation in 1989, Patrick Lowe and Andrew Gardiner concluded that, from their analysis of nearly 300 deer skulls, although some morphological variation exists supporting the separation at the during 2004, by Technical University Munich-Weihenstephan (in Germany) taxonomist Christian Ludt and three colleagues, looked at a particular gene carried on the mt DNA of 51 populations of deer spanning the entire distribution of (henceforth referred to as the Red deer).
In his ) typically reaches less than 100kg (220 lbs); Red stags in Britain and Norway sport thick, dark neck manes, while those in Spain fail to develop any trace of a mane.
Coat colour and differences in the size and shape of the antlers are also often among the characteristics used to distinguish subspecies.
Certain aspects of the natural history common to all deer (e.g.