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What is the difference between elk and moose?

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Quick Answer

A full-grown moose is much larger than an adult elk, with a darker brown coat, a bulbous nose and a bell under their throats. Adult male moose have broad, flat antlers, known as palmate antlers. Moose are also less likely than elk to flee at the sight of people.

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What is the difference between elk and moose?
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Full Answer

Confusion over the names of these animals arises because, in Europe, moose (Alces alces) are called elk, whereas elk (Cervus canadensis) are called wapiti.

Hunters distinguish between moose and elk by examining animal tracks. Moose hooves, like a deer's, are heart-shaped, with a pointy tip, whereas elk hooves are blunted and tooth-shaped. Moose tracks are larger and deeper than elk tracks, and elk tracks show evidence of traveling in a herd.

In North America, moose are primarily found in Canada and Alaska; worldwide they are also concentrated in Russia and Scandinavia. The largest member of the deer family, moose do not form herds. They live as solitary animals.

Elk are one of the largest members of the deer family, but they aren't as large as the moose. They are light to medium brown in color and adult males have branching antlers. Elk are native to eastern Asia and North America and have also been successfully introduced to other parts of the world, such as Australia.

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