MUSK-DEER (Moschus moschiferus), an aberrant member of the deer family constituting the sub-family Cervidae Moschinae (see Deer).
The Cervidae are distributed all over Europe, Asia, Northern Africa and America, but are unknown in Africa south of the Sahara.
The Antilocapridae (prongbuck), whose relationships appear to be rather with the Cervidae than with the Bovidae, are on the other hand apparently a North American group. The chevrotains (Tragulidae), now surviving only in West and Central Africa and tropical Asia, are conversely a purely Old World group.
WATER-DEER, a small member of the deer-tribe from northern China differing from all other Cervidae except the muskdeer (with which it has no affinity) by the absence of antlers in both sexes.
REINDEER, in its strict sense the title of a European deer distinguished from all other members of the family Cervidae (see Deer), save those of the same genus, by the presence of antlers in both sexes; but, in the wider sense, including Asiatic and North American deer of the same general type, the latter of which are locally designated caribou.
Both of these families are distributed over the whole of the northern hemisphere, but whereas the Cervidae are absent from Africa south of the Sahara and well represented in South America, the Bovidae are unknown in the latter area, but are extraordinarily abundant in Africa.
It has already been pointed out that the Cervidae originated in the northern continent of the Old World; and it has been suggested that the Bovidae were developed in Africa.