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Stag (Cervus elapses)

Cervus elapses, red deer, inhabit most of Europe and parts of Asia and are one of the largest deer species.

Red deer stags start growing antlers in the spring and shed them each year during winter. Their antlers are made of bone and can grow at a rate of an inch per day. Red Deer migrated to Europe 11,000 years ago and were integral to the survival of mesolithic man by providing sources for pelts, food and tools. Historically, population numbers have been fluctuant as they were hunted for an extensive part of medieval history by royals and nobles. In the UK, red deer were protected in the early 20th century to boost their population numbers.

This skeleton was drawn in the museum of zoology at the University of Cambridge.