Sparring Elk at Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone N.P.

Ann  Van Breemen

Surfers Paradise, Australia

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  • Artwork Comments 40

Wall Art


Artist's Description

Two yearling Elks flexing their muscles in a mock battle at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone N.P. Montana, USA, in the Fall of 2009.

“Elk range in forest and forest-edge habitat, feeding on grasses, plants, leaves, and bark.
Male elk have large antlers which are shed each year. Males engage in ritualized mating behaviors during the rut, including posturing, antler wrestling (sparring), and bugling, a loud series of vocalizations which establishes dominance over other males and attracts females.
Only the males have antlers, which start growing in the spring and are shed each winter. The largest antlers may be 1.2 m (4 ft) long and weigh 18 kg (40 lb). Antlers are made of bone which can grow at a rate of 2.5 cm (1 inch) per day. While actively growing, the antlers are covered with and protected by a soft layer of highly vascularised skin known as velvet. The velvet is shed in the summer when the antlers have fully developed. Bull elk may have eight or more tines on each antler; however, the number of tines has little to do with the age or maturity of a particular animal.
After the breeding season in late fall, the level of pheromones released during estrus declines in the environment and the testosterone levels of males drop as a consequence. This drop in testosterone leads to the shedding of antlers, usually in the early winter.”

Canon EOS 500D. Canon EF 100-400L IS lens @ 260mm.

Artwork Comments

  • lorilee
  • shelltree
  • Annette Blattman
  • LynEvans
  • brimellor1
  • A1000WORDS
  • Gina Ruttle  (Whalegeek)
  • Sandy Hill
  • Mika
  • Ann  Van Breemen
  • tcat757
  • Ann  Van Breemen
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