Elk

Matt Rhodes

Thousand Oaks, United States

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Artist's Description

A Canadian Elk found in Banff National Park (Alberta, Canada).
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The elk, or wapiti (Cervus canadensis), is one of the largest species of deer in the world and one of the largest mammals in North America and eastern Asia. In the deer family (Cervidae), only the moose, Alces alces (called an “elk” in Europe), is larger, and Cervus unicolor (the “Sambar” deer) can rival the elk in size. Elk are almost identical to red deer found in Europe, of which they were long believed to be a subspecies; however, mitochondrial DNA evidence from 2004 strongly suggests they are a distinct species.

Male elk have large antlers which are shed each year. Males engage in ritualized mating behaviors during the rut, including posturing, antler wrestling, and bugling, a loud series of screams which establishes dominance over other males and attracts females. The bugle call is one of the most distinctive calls in nature.

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animals canada wildlife matt elk rhodes

Artwork Comments

  • Vickie Emms
  • Matt Rhodes
  • Dennis Stewart
  • Matt Rhodes
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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