A big moose is called an enormous moose



Some researchers believe that the broad-fronted or giant moose (Alces latifrons), also known as the broad-fronted steppe moose, could be considered the greatest progenitor of the moose, but probably only a species of it that has long been extinct. It also belongs to the post-Pleistocene period and appeared for the first time 700,000 to 900,000 years ago. His descendants, who already belonged to the recent species, lived in the Upper Quaternary.

However, recent research assumes that the broad-fronted moose, with its slightly fewer antlers than those of Libralces gallicus, does not represent a transition to the moose from the Upper Quaternary and modern times and, apart from the expansive shovel antlers, has nothing to do with the modern moose. The fact that both deer belong to different groups of deer can be seen from the reduced metacarpal bones. The elk belongs to the phantom deer (Telemetacarpalia) while the giant deer belongs to the Old World deer (Plesiometacarpalia) as well as the red deer.

Antlers and skull remains of the broad-fronted elk have been found in Moosbach near Wiesbaden in Hesse and in the county of Norfolk in England.

It was probably spread over large parts of Europe and Asia.

This thesis is also supported by the fact that an almost completely preserved skeleton of the broad-headed moose was found during the construction of the underground in Berlin in 1956. It is about the "Elk from Hansaplatz". The broad-fronted elk, with its shovel antlers marked by long support rods and with a display of more than three meters, was a inhabitant of steppe, moor and tundra.

© Heimatmuseum Tiergarten

The open landscape enabled the creation of the enormous shovel antlers, whose almost circular rose bushes were up to 27 cm in circumference and 40 to 50 cm in length. The forehead width was also about 27 cm. Judging by the findings, the broad-fronted or giant moose was considerably larger than today's moose and about twice as heavy as the Alaska moose (Alces alces gigas). Although more deer-like than today's moose, the broad-fronted moose weighed 1,400 kg. While in Libralces gallicus there was no shortening of the nasal bone, in Alces latifrons it is not as short as in the later recent moose. Since the shortening of the nasal bones and the enlargement of the nostrils in ungulates are always related to the development of trunk-like structures, one can assume that the early Pleistocene moose had a smaller upper lip than the more recent and therefore had not yet developed the nasal mirror of today's moose. The nose of the broad-headed moose resembled a species called the deer moose (Cervalces scotti), which also lived among the mammals of the Pleistocene. It is a deer that became extinct about 10-11,000 years ago and looked similar to today's moose except for the fork-shaped antlers. He was taller, and some scientists believe that he looked more like a cross between an elk and an elk.

© Maren and Uwe Kamke 2000-2018