Elk, whose description can be found in almost all reference books for animal lovers – is a large cloven-hoofed mammal belonging to the genus, the moose, the deer family.
Experts believe that its name comes from the old word “als”, which indicates red fur covering the body of newborn calves. Another common with ancient Rus name of the game — elk. Presumably it arose because of the similarity of its horns to the plow.
A description of the elk is necessary to begin with its range. These artiodactyls are common in the Northern hemisphere. By the mid-nineteenth century a numerous population of elks was almost destroyed in Europe, except Russia. Due to security measures taken in the early twentieth century, these animals had re-occupied the Northern and Eastern Europe.
In our days, these large animals live in the Nordic countries (Norway, Finland), Belarus, Northern Ukraine, Hungary and Poland, the Baltic States (Estonia and Latvia), the Czech Republic. The largest population is in Russia, from the Kola Peninsula to the southern steppes. In North America, the moose settled in Canada, Alaska and North-Eastern United States.
Reading a description of the elk in different sources, we can conclude that these animals live in mixed and coniferous forests with swamps, quiet streams and rivers. In the forest tundra prefer aspen and birch. Common elk and along the banks of the steppe lakes and rivers-riparian thickets. In the mountain forests to settle in valleys and on gentle slopes.
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Moose – is the largest representative of its family. The height of the animal at the withers is from 1.70 to 2.35 meters, body length-3 metres. Weight of adult females is about 300 kg, and males more than six hundred. In appearance these animals seem clumsy: high leg, short torso. Animals possess powerful shoulders and chest. The legs are long but not thin, muscled with long and narrow hooves. The tail is short, but well marked.
The Head is large and heavy, up to 500 mm, hook-nosed. There are large and mobile ears. Slightly swollen upper lip hanging considerably over the lower, and under the throat you can see the soft skin growth — “earring”, the length of which can reach 40 cm
Without the characteristics of the coat consists of long coarse hairs and a softer undercoat does not do even a brief description of the animal. Moose has a fairly long coat. In the winter it grows up to ten inches in length. The neck and withers it and even longer mane, a length of twenty centimeters. Sometimes it even seems that the animal has a hump.
Soft hair that covers the head, growing even on the lips. Only between the nostrils on the upper lip can be considered a tiny bare area.
The Coat of an elk painted in black or brownish-black colour in the upper part of the body. He gradually becomes a brown shade at the bottom. At the bottom of the limbs whitish. In summer, the color darkens elks.
Probably everyone who read the description of the elk in reference books, you know that elk are the largest among all mammals of horns. Their wingspan reaches up to 180 cm and a weight of about 20 kg. the horn consists of a wide and short trunk and a flat, slightly concave shovel, surrounded by eighteen branches. In animals of different age, length of shoots, their length, size of the shovel is different. The older the moose, the more powerful his horns, a wider shovel, and the spines shorter.
A year after the birth of moose calves grow small horns. In the beginning they are very soft, covered with soft skin and silky coat. The horns penetrated by blood vessels from the young animal, they suffer insect bites and when wounded they bleed. Two months later the horns harden, they stop blood flow. Moose antlers (velvet antlers) in five years become large and heavy: spade is expanding, and the processes become shorter.
Description moose gives grounds to say that these animals prefer sedentary, move around a bit. In search of food they make small transitions, but for a long time remain in the same location. In summer, the area in which they live and feed on moose, is much broader than in the winter.
Elk leave the snowy areas. First go to their homes moose cows with calves, followed by males and females without offspring. In reverse order animals return to their habitat. Moose are kept, usually in small groups or singly. Only in winter they gather in herds in richer food. Places where accumulates a lot individuals, in our country called the camp, and in Canada yard. With the arrival of spring moose wander again.
We presented to you a brief description of the elk. Red book, fortunately, is not replenished with these animals. But since its population is still shrinking, these animals should be protected from poachers. However, the elk is included in regional Red data books of some regions and republics, where due to various factors, the number is quite low. For example, elk are included in the Redthe book of the Omsk region.
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