Difference Between Elk and Caribou

Main Difference

Deer are the ruminant mammals that belong to the family Cervidae. Elk and Caribou, which are known as the Deer-look alike also belong to the family Cervidae. Elk and Caribou can easily be differentiated in terms of their size difference, though beside this they actually have many actual differences. Elk hailing from specie Cervus Canadensis is regarded as one of the largest species within the cerividae family, on the other hand Caribou also known as reindeer hails from specie Rangifer tarandus. Elk are said to be native to East Asia and North America, whereas Caribou is the native to Arctic, and boreal and mountainous regions of Siberia, North America as they like cold and high altitudes. Antlers which are the unique physical part of this deer group are mainly found in the males, similarly they are missing in female Elk, but female Caribou have antler which develop during the later stage of their life.

Comparison Chart

ElkCaribou
SpecieCervus CanadensisRangifer tarandus
AntlersFemales Elk lack antlers.Caribou females have antler which develop during the later stage of their life
Height & WeightMale Elks have height about 1.5m and females have height about 1.3m at shoulders, they have average weight in between 220 to 350 kgs.Caribous have height average in between 33 inches to 60 inches a shoulder, and have average weight of around 100 to 180 kgs.

What is Elk?

Elk is the one of the largest species of the cervidae family, and is also regarded as one of the largest mammals in Eastern Asia and North America, which are the areas Elks are native to. Due to their massive size they are often confused with the Mooses, which are even of the bigger size as compare to them, though they are the extant species due to subartic climate and hunting. Elk is mainly differentiated with Moose by seeing their antlers as Moose have broader and falter antlers. They have greater adaptability and even have survived at places like New Zealand, Argentina, and Australia, where they were being introduced. They range in forest and forest-edge habitat and often prefer staying marshes or bushlands. Male Elks have height about 1.5m and females have height about 1.3m at shoulders, they have average weight in between 220 to 350 kgs.

What is Caribou?

Caribou are also known as reindeer they are native to Arctic, and boreal and mountainous regions of Siberia, North America as they like cold and high altitudes. Caribou are also known as reindeer they are native to Arctic, and boreal and mountainous regions of Siberia, North America as they like cold and high altitudes. Unlike many other species of this group, the female caribou also have antlers, which develop during the later stage of their life. Moreover, they have the second largest antlers among cervids. The antlers on male are usually of larger size. They are well popular among masses as Santa Claus in Christmas folklore as he arrives on them. Caribous have height average in between 33 inches to 60 inches a shoulder, and have average weight of around 100 to 180 kgs.

Elk vs. Caribou

  • Elk hailing from specie Cervus Canadensis is regarded as one of the largest species within the cerividae family, on the other hand Caribou also known as reindeer hails from specie Rangifer tarandus. Elk are said to be native to East Asia and North America, whereas Caribou is the native to Arctic, and boreal and mountainous regions of Siberia, North America.
  • Antlers which are the unique physical part of this deer group are mainly found in the males, similarly they are missing in female Elk, but female Caribou have antler which develop during the later stage of their life.
  • Male Elks have height about 1.5m and females have height about 1.3m at shoulders, they have average weight in between 220 to 350 kgs, whereas Caribous have height average in between 33 inches to 60 inches a shoulder, and have average weight of around 100 to 180 kgs.

Comparison Video

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Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

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