14 Difference Between Elk and Moose (With Table)

Elk and moose are the two types of deer that are big in body size. Deer are found all over the world except Australia and Antarctica. Moose is the biggest then followed by elk. The males are referred to as bulls while the females are referred to as cows.

So, what is the difference between elk and moose? An elk has long brow tines, distinct main beam, and points in their antlers while moose has palmated antlers, and tines protrude from the edges.

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Comparison Table (Elk vs Moose)

Characteristics Elk Moose
Meaning Refers to a large deer with brownish-red fur and large antlers that live in forests of North America. Refers to the largest extant species of deer with broad flat antlers.
Scientific names Cervus Canadensis Alces alces
Location Found in North America and Eastern Asia. Found in Canada and Alaska; also, in New England, Latvia, Estonia, Scandinavia, Fennoscandia, and Russia.
Size It is small in body size. It is comparatively big in body size.
Height It is 5 feet at the shoulder, 8 feet from nose to tail. It is 5-6.5 feet at the shoulder.
Neck The neck is dark brown compared to the body. It has the same color on the neck as the body.
Appearance Reddish-brown to light brown body with darker legs. It has a dark, blackish-brown body with white gray legs.
Snout It has a slender and pointed snout. It has large, bulbous snout.
Bull antlers Has long brow tines and distinct main beams and points. Has palmated antlers, tines protrude from the edges.
Rump It has pale yellow to white in the color rump. It has a yellowish rump.
Behavior They gather in herds. They travel alone.
Hoof shape Has tooth-shaped hooves. Has heart-shaped hooves.
Tips of hooves Has blunt tips as they travel long distances. They have pointed tip hooves.
Track marks The track marks are slightly lighter. The track marks are deeper and larger.
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What is Elk?

Elk is a large deer with brownish-red fur and large antlers that live in the forests of North America. They are the second-largest deer after the moose. They live in mountain forests in North America and East Asia. It can live both in deserts and semi-desert places. Their herds can be made up of about 1000 individuals.

They have shaggy necks that are dark brown compared to the body. Its color and thickness depend on the climate. The male elk produces a sound that is high and loud. It has slender and pointed snouts. They mainly gather in groups.

The tips of the hooves are blunt as they travel for longer distances. Their hooves are tooth-shaped for the same reason.

What is Moose?

Moose is the largest extant deer species with broad, flat antlers. Moose is referred to as elk in Europe. They prefer to live in temperate and cool climate areas. They are found in the Northern areas of America, Canada, and Alaska.

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The main characteristics of moose are flat, broad antlers, and strange-looking bulky faces. Their coat color is blackish-brown and it is the same on the whole body. They do not gather in herds instead, they travel alone.

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Main Differences between Elk and Moose

  1. Elk is comparatively smaller while moose is comparatively larger in body size.
  2. The neck of the elk is dark brown than the rest of the body while the moose has the same color on the neck and the rest parts of the body.
  3. Elk has a slender and pointed snout while moose has a large and bulbous snout.
  4. Elk gathers in herds while moose travel alone.
  5. Elk has a tooth-shaped hoof while moose has a heart-shaped hoof.
  6. Elk has blunt tip hooves while moose has pointed tip hooves.
  7. Elks leave track marks that are slightly lighter while moose leave track marks that are deeper and larger.
  8. Elk has pointed antlers while moose has palmated antlers.
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Similarities between Elk and Moose

  1. They are both types of deer.
  2. Both are hunted for their meat and antlers.
  3. In both cases, the males are called bulls and the females are called cows.
  4. Both can live in a moderate climate.
  5. Both are ruminant mammals.
  6. Both belong to the family Cervidae.

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In Conclusion

Elk and moose are the biggest deer in the world. The moose is the biggest then the second one is the elk. Elk has pointed antlers while moose has palmated antlers. Elk has a shaggy and dark brown neck while moose is dark brown in color which runs the whole body. The main feature that makes elk and moose different is the shape of antlers.

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