Hi Guys,Finally we have the results of the DNA analysis of the antler samples from India. It has taken an awful lot of time, but we do need to check and recheck and check again - and earn a living every now and then :-).
Unfortunately there was no new species in there after all...
The antlers turned out to be from a Sambhur (Sambar) deer -(Rusa unicolor) presumably a juvenile - because although the antlers of an adult resemble those of a fallow deer, the antlers of the juvenile surprised me greatly by looking like those of a muntjac.
It is mildly disappointing but our job is to find out the truth, and not purely to look for cryptids, and we have found the truth.
Richard Freeman and I would like to thank Tom Gilbert and his team for all their painstaking work. And as I often do, I am going to take refuge in the words of Rudyard Kipling:
As the dawn was breaking the Sambhur belled --
Once, twice and again!
And a doe leaped up, and a doe leaped up
From the pond in the wood where the wild deer sup.
This I, scouting alone, beheld,
Once, twice, and again!