Phylogenetics and dating with confidence
) Traditionally, many authors have chosen to lump wapiti within (i.e.as a subspecies of) the Red deer because, despite various anatomical, biochemical, ecological, behavioural and (more recently) genetic differences, wapiti are able to hybridize successfully -- i.e.Indeed, it’s worth remembering that what happens in captivity and what happens in the wild may be very different!The majority of species have been fairly well defined, but there are two in particular that have caused (indeed, are still a source of) much controversy – debate rages over whether the wapiti and Red deer should be considered the same, or distinct, species.
In the paper Dr Lönnberg compared the skull anatomy of Red deer collected from various parts of its range and proposed several of the 12-or-so subspecies still in contention today.The wapiti range over much of North America and eastern Asia and are superficially similar to the Red deer of Europe and Asia (an area collectively termed “Eurasia”).(Incidentally, the wapiti are often referred to as “elk” in North America, but should not be confused with the European “elk”, or Moose, !However, more recently, several studies have suggested that there may be far fewer than 12 subspecies and have cast doubt on the validity of the Scottish Red as a valid subspecies.In a major review of Red deer taxonomy published in the exhibits a high degree of morphological similarity between the animals across their range.
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The Cervidae holds two subfamilies: the Old World deer of the Cervinae and the New World deer of the Capreolinae.