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Top Elk - DSCN5198 | by getrachier
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Top Elk - DSCN5198

The best part about being friends, is being together.


Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Artiodactyla

Family: Bovidae

Subfamily: Bovinae

Genus: Bison

Species: Bison bonasus


COMMON NAME (S): Roosevelt Elk (Olympic Elk or Wapiti)


SCIENTIFIC NAME: Cervus elaphus roosevelti


CLASSIFICATION: Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Artiodactyla

Family: Cervidae


DESCRIPTION: Length: 8-10 feet (2.4-3 meters)

Height at the shoulder: 5 feet (1.5 meters)

Weight: 350-1,000 pounds (158-450 kg.)

General: Males are characterized by seasonally lighter coat colors and long (up to 5 feet) non-palmate antlers. Both sexes have a conspicuous, pale yellow rump patch of erectile hair.


RANGE: Coastal and Cascade mountains of Pacific Northwest.


HABITAT: Forest edges and meadows.


STATUS: General: Secure.

WA State: Secure.


DIET: Consists primarily of browse and available grasses.


REPRODUCTION: Breeding season extends from September through November. The gestation period is about eight months. Generally, the female gives birth to a single 30-35 pound spotted calf.


LIFE SPAN: About 25 years.


BEHAVIOR: Roosevelt elk are social, polygamous deer that can form very large herds. Depending on local climate conditions and food supply, these herds may migrate vertically from lowland winter ranges to a transitional, mid-elevation range and then finally to an upland summer range. One of the most vocal cervids, these elk produce a variety of squeals, grunts and whistles. Visual communication is equally important and is accompanied by body language. Erecting rump patch hairs signals alarm. Neck stretching, laying back ears, curling the lip, displaying the canines, rearing and striking, antler sparring invitation and flaring of lacrimal glands all manifest aggression or threat.


NAMES: adult male - bull; adult female - cow; baby - calf; group - herd

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Taken on August 30, 2008