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Difference between Elk and Caribou

Difference between Elk and Caribou

Did you know that there are two types of deer in North America? The elk and the caribou! Both are beautiful animals, but they are quite different. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between these two deer species. Stay tuned for more information!

What is Elk?

Elk is a large mammal in the deer family. Elk are found in North America, Europe, and Asia. The name “elk” comes from the Old Norse word for “moose.” Elk is the second-largest member of the deer family, after the moose. Adults can weigh up to 1,000 pounds and stand six feet tall at the shoulder. Elk live in forest and tundra ecosystems and eat a diet of grasses, leaves, and twigs. Elk are hunted for their meat and antlers. Elk antlers are used in traditional Chinese medicine. Elk are also popular as tourist attractions in national parks.

What is Caribou?

Caribou is a species of mammal belonging to the deer family. They are native to North America and can be found in Canada, Alaska, and parts of the United States. Caribou are large animals, with males weighing up to 300 kg and females up to 200 kg. They have distinctive antlers which are used for defense and mate attraction. Caribou are herbivores and their diet consists mainly of plants such as grasses, sedges, and shrubs. Caribou are migratory animals and travel long distances between their winter and summer ranges. They play an important role in their ecosystem as they help to disperse seeds and fertilize the soil with their waste products. Caribou populations have declined in recent years due to habitat loss and hunting pressure. Conservation efforts are underway to protect these animals and their habitat.

Difference between Elk and Caribou

Elk and caribou are actually the same species of animal, belonging to the genus Rangifer. The only difference between the two is that Elk are found in North America, while Caribou inhabit the Arctic regions of Europe, Asia, and North America. Both Elk and Caribou have large bodies, with males weighing up to 650 kilograms (1400 pounds) and females up to 400 kilograms (900 pounds). They also both have large antlers, which are shed and regrown every year. Elk antlers can grow up to 2 meters (6 feet) in length, while Caribou antlers only grow up to 1 meter (3 feet). Elk are also generally larger than Caribou, with a body length of 2-3 meters (6-9 feet), while Caribou only grow to 1-2 meters (3-6 feet). Finally, Elk typically live in forested areas, while Caribou inhabit more open habitats such as tundra.


Elk and caribou are both deer, but they are very different animals. The elk is the largest member of the deer family in North America. Caribou are much smaller than elk and have shorter antlers. Elk live in forests, while caribou prefer tundra and open woodlands. There are many other differences between these two animals, such as their diets and behavior. If you’re planning a hunting trip, it’s important to know the difference between elk and caribou so that you can choose the right animal to hunt.

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