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Photo Info

Dimensions2592 x 3036
Original file size6.77 MB
Image typeJPEG
Color spaceUncalibrated
Date taken25-Sep-08 18:06
Date modified21-Nov-08 21:52
Shooting Conditions

Camera makeCanon
Camera modelCanon EOS-1D Mark III
Focal length500 mm
Exposure1/320 at f/4
FlashNot fired
Exposure bias+1/3 EV
Exposure modeAuto
Exposure prog.Aperture priority
ISO speedISO 320
Metering modePattern
North American Elk

North American Elk

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 C. canadensis 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.


Elk range in forest and forest-edge habitat, feeding on grasses, plants, leaves, and bark. Although native to North America and eastern Asia, they have adapted well to countries where they have been introduced, including New Zealand, Australia and Argentina. Their great adaptability may threaten endemic species and ecosystems into which they have been introduced. 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.