Cervalces was unusual. It had a deer-like face but a moose's body and strange broad antlers that stood out straight from either side of its head. Each antler branched into irregular tines and spikes that extended in all directions - some of them backward. As fossils, the antlers, which are distinctive, are commonly preserved whereas relatively complete skeletons are rare. Long-legged and large, it could feed in relatively deep water of wetlands on the tundra or in the spruce forests. In Illinois, it apparently lived mostly in the northern half of the state. It was common in the surrounding states but was never abundant. It ranged over much of North America. Cervalces origin is obscure. Nevertheless, it is known to have been in North America more than 25,000 years ago. It survived until some 10,000 years ago. Cervalces probably was displaced by the modern moose, which invaded from Eurasia, crossing on the Bering Strait land bridge.
Updated 10/2/2009 CAB