By | 2017-11-10T21:40:07+03:00 November 10th, 2017|Categories: prehistoric|Tags: , , , , , |7 Comments


  1. Glen MILLAR 15.02.2018 at 20:54 - Reply

    Beautiful work!! Makes one wish to be there!

    As a taxidermist I am wondering if showing some upper teeth might be a slight additional touch of realism to a great work of art.
    Also looking at pictures of skeleton reconstructions if the shoulder hump is quite pronounced enough?
    Are prints available for purchase?

    • Tom 16.02.2018 at 14:36 - Reply

      Hi Glen! I’m about to make a series of prints, this image included, some time in the near future. And for that purpose I’ll go through the paintings to see if there’s something that should be updated. But, as for the teeth, I’m pretty sure none are visible from this angle. I have checked loads of pictures of red deers in similar poses and compared them with giant deer skulls and it seems like the molars are so far back that they couldn’t be seen. However, I notice now that the oral papillae structure of the buccal mucosa should be enhanced somehow, it looks too smooth as it is now. The hump again could surely be bigger to give the animal more character although not much. A hump is apparent in many red deer skeletons, too, but in a living animal the back looks often quite straight. It’s true, though, that the spinous processes on the shoulders are generally longer in giant deer, perhaps comparable with an elk (moose). So I could probably enlarge it a bit. If it makes you happy 🙂 Information about the prints will come up on my Facebook page at some point. Perhaps I will make a post about it here, too. Thanks for your comment!

  2. Leonard Aguirre 07.03.2018 at 10:00 - Reply


    I totally agree with you, first the Irish Elk has no upper incisor only lower incisor, and you pointed out it does have upper and lower molars, but I agree that they are located too far back from the edge of the lips to be visible. As pointed our I agree that the shoulder hump should be more pronounced and since this deer is related to the Fallow Deer (Dama Dama) it might have a slight bulge on the throat, like its living relative the Fallow Deer. As to the color of the animal nobody can be sure, but there is a book that explores this aspect of the animal and he based his assumptions on the cave drawings left by prehistoric man. If you want the name of the book write me back and I’ll give you the title of the book. It has a whole section on the Irish Elk (Megaloceros Giganteus), you might find it very interesting reading, I did. Thanks Leo

    • Tom 31.03.2018 at 08:52 - Reply

      Thank you, Leonard, for your comment. Good points to take into account. I haven’t thought about the fallow deer bulge, although I do know about their relationship. And any good read on interesting topics like this is, of course, welcome.

  3. Glen MILLAR 18.03.2018 at 16:30 - Reply

    Hi, Tom

    I have looked at pictures of some of ancient cave paintings some appear to be of megaloceros,. These ancient depictions appear to show a hump somewhat similar to that of an elk. Some large animals such as grizzly bears elk etc. have shoulder blades placed high as it increases the swing of the front legs. I do not want to appear critical in any way, your work is terrific, but if my experience interest and observations can be perhaps of a little assistance I would feel of some use.
    I also noticed in the cave paintings the megaloceos appeared to lift their tails in a similar fashion as reindeer do when running, probably showing white or cream color as a signal to others. Open country mammals seem to display this feature more than forest dwellers Our North American prong horn antelope when alarmed or running expand their white rump patch, it can be seen for great distances. When standing your megaloceros would naturally have it’s tail in the position that you have depicted it in.
    I was reading some research on ancient Irish folklore on the ” Irish Elk” it seemed to suggest that they may have been kept as domestic animals, and that they were black in color. The research seemed unclear and questioned if maybe the female sculls were of a large race of red deer or perhaps of moose.
    All very interesting, recon we will have to wait until they clone some of these magnificent animals to find out the fine details !
    Have fun

    • Tom 31.03.2018 at 09:03 - Reply

      Thanks, Glen, for the interesting details. Will certainly be of use to improve the painting, and for possible new ones showing the animal’s behaviour.

  4. Glen MILLAR 02.04.2018 at 08:44 - Reply

    Tom ,thanks for the kind words. Leonard has some interesting thoughts , the throat bulge is possibly suggested in a cave drawing at Chauvet. The other depictions of the cave drawings I found on google don’t seem to show any, but those ancient artists didn’t seem to spend much time getting head detail on their Megaloceros. heads. they were not trophy hunters it would appear!
    As to color, hard to say, southern grass land open country mammals tend to the browns, but we are talking ice age. Our north American wild sheep are (1) Southern crass lands, Big Horn– brown (2) Northern glacial country– Dall– white (3) Gray rock habitat– Stone –About the same as you have very nicely depicted Megaloceros. Also reindeer another northern mammal tends to the grays with lighter heads. Dama Dama is quite variable. Any way their always are albinos and very dark individuals in all species. Also area to area could probably produce considerable variation.
    The cave art seams to show darker on the hump with longer hackle hair similar to what an elk has, and the darker neck collar as you have depicted.
    Wish I had your talent with a paint brush!

Leave A Comment