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Difference between Elk and Deer

Main Difference

The family of deer is one of the biggest in the world, and there are several species among them which are different from each other but at the same time, have several similarities among each other. The main difference between elk and a deer is that the first one is known as Wapiti which is a native American language word meaning “light colored deer” and have the ability to reach a lot higher. While the second one is usually smaller in size and has the habit of eating heavy foods like other mammals they prefer grazing and eating food which is low in fats.

Comparison Chart

Basis of Distinction Elk Deer
Scientific Name Cervus canadensis Cervidae
Life Span 10 to 13 years 15 to 25 years
Average Weight 300 kg 500 kg
Location North America and East Asia. All over the world.
Characterization One of the types of deer. The leading family of similar species.
Habitat Lives in mountains during the summer season and lives in snow during the winter. Can live in diverse places from mountains to jungles.
Body Hard body surface Soft body surface
Quality Ability to reach the length which is double the size of their body. Can be as long as 9 feet and runs at fast speed.
Search Grazes for food. Searches for food with a smell.

Elk

elkThis is one of the biggest species in the family of deer and one of the largest group of mammals which are found in North America and East Asia. One thing should be cleared that this term is not to be confused with the other elk which is used in British English in which Moose is known as an Elk. They are also known as Wapiti which is a native American language word meaning “light colored deer.” They have the main difference from other deer which is of size. Much larger and much broader in shape, they are the biggest among their family. The male can reach a height of 4 feet above its original size which means the total height they can reach becomes 9 feet. Another thing unique to them is that they start to lose their antlers in the spring season but grow them again two months later for the breeding season. They migrate to mountains after the summer season begins, and the female will then give birth to the calf which can stand on its own just after 20 minutes. When the summer season is about to end, all the male ones start to fight with each other and get aggressive, this is to make sure they get the female of their choice. The male in the family is called bull while the female is known as cows. When the winter begins, they all migrate back to the land in separate herds where male and female are distinct and spend the season on grass and other herbs.

Deer

deerDeer are one of the biggest animal family in the world, containing many species which become part of a large group. They are usually smaller in size and are mostly found all over the world. After the bovids, they are the biggest animal family. The best way of telling which one is a deer is through their antelope which keep on growing and removing after every season, and that’s how they are able to keep themselves different from antelopes. The largest deer in the family is known as Moose which weigh up to 800 kg and is almost 9 feet. The next ones are elk which have the ability to reach heights double the size of their body, the northern podu is the smallest deer in the world which are just 14 inches in size. There are many other types as well which have their own characteristics based on their location and size. The primary food which they eat includes leaves, grass, herbs and smaller berries, they have smaller stomachs, therefore, can survive on smaller amounts of food easily. Instead of eating heavy foods like other mammals they prefer grazing and eating food which is low in fats but has more nutrition in them. It is believed that they have evolved from antlers and gradually developed in their original form as they are now. Their meat is also eaten by human beings all over the world, especially by people who love hunting. The meat is known as vension and is produced in smaller amounts as compared to beef and other products.

Key Differences

  • An elk is one of the types of deer which exist while deer is a general term used for the family of various species that are similar in some way.
  • An elk is usually larger in size as compared to average deer but shorter than a moose, while deer vary in length from long to short.
  • An elk has the ability to reach the length which is double the size of their body while a deer can be as long as 9 feet.
  • The maximum size of an elk is around 300 kg while the highest size of a deer can be around 800 kg.
  • They both are similar in the way that they eat the same things and have the same type of digestive system which is quick and based on nutrition.
  • An elk usually lives in the mountains during the summer season and lives in snow during the winter, while a deer can live in diverse places from mountains to jungles.
  • An elk has the upper body surface which is relatively hard since it lives in extreme places while the body of a deer is soft.
  • A deer runs at a faster speed while an elk is slower in pace.
  • An elk grazes for its food from snow and other places, while a deer finds its food with the help of smell.

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