What is the difference between Elk and Caribou? - ProProfs Discuss
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What is the difference between Elk and Caribou?

Asked by R. Barnes, Last updated: Jan 13, 2020

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6 Answers

L. Agate

L. Agate

Answered Oct 11, 2019

Both the elk and caribou are part of the larger deer family, but they really have their differences. The caribous are usually found in high altitude places because they like cold. They are better found in Alaska and the cold climatic areas in Russia. They are known to always move together in a group in search of food and a method to prevent them from predators. The caribous are also referred to as the reindeers, and they are used as a medium of transportation in some areas on a few occasions.

The female caribous are known for shedding their antlers. On the other hand, Elks are another set of the larger deer that like the herding lifestyle. Unlike caribous, they are generally found across the world, such as the Midwestern and upper western parts of America and Canada. Unlike the caribou, which likes grassy areas, the elk actually prefer the wooded environment. The elk happens to be the second largest of the deer family.


Tara Pele

I am Tara & working as a Technical Blogger.

Tara Pele, Technical Blogger, MCA from New York, New York

Answered Oct 03, 2019

Elk and Caribou are two separate species of the Deer family. An Elk is much bigger than a Caribou. It is mostly found in the Western part of North American and Eastern Asia. Elk belongs to the species known as Rangifer tarandus. The average life span of an Elk in the wild is about 8 to 12 years and up to 20 years in captivity.

When Elks are in groups, they are called “gang.” Caribou, on the other hand, is mostly found in Arctic and Subarctic regions. Caribou belongs to the species called Cervus Canadensis. The average life span of a Caribou is about 12 to 15 years in the wild. A group of Caribou is termed “herd.”


I. Woods

I. Woods

Answered Sep 16, 2019

Elk and Caribou are different species of deer. Many people find it difficult to differentiate one from another because they look similar. However, if you take a closer look, you will discover that they are different. Elk is a species of large deer. They can be found in different parts of the world. They are commonly seen in Western parts of Canada. Only male Elks have antlers. The antlers are much smaller than caribous. The color of the neck of an Elk is dark brown. Elks weigh between 650 to 830 lbs.

They can be 56 to 68 inches tall. Caribou are commonly seen in high altitudes and cold regions such as Alaska and Russia. They often move and live in herds. The female and males Caribou have antlers and they are larger than elks. Their necks are white in color. Caribous weight between 355 to 400 lbs. Adult Caribou can be 34 -62 inches tall. Hope you find this helpful.


C. Kenway

C. Kenway, Content Writer, Jacksonville

Answered Sep 11, 2019

Elk and caribou are both members of the deer family. The elk is a large-bodied deer species that mostly resides in Western North America and eastern Asia. The caribou is also a sizeable bodied deer species, which inhabits mainly the Arctic and Subarctic regions. These animals are known as reindeer in Europe. Elk feast upon grass, plants, leaves, and bark.

Caribou primarily derive nourishment from lichens in the winter, especially reindeer moss. Caribou also eat Burch and Willow leaves, and their fur of elk is generally reddish. The color of caribou varies considerably. Their coat is made of two layers of fur: a thick wooly undercoat and longer-haired overcoat which is comprised of hollow air-filled hairs.


I. Muller

I. Muller, Math Professor, North Carolina

Answered Sep 03, 2019

People can look at the elk and caribou and wonder why and how they are different from each other. It can be easier to determine a female elk from a female caribou due to their antlers. Female elks do not have antlers while the female caribous have antlers but not in the beginning.

The antlers will usually appear in the latter years of the female caribou’s life. The elk is also considered to be bigger than the caribou. As expected, the male elks are bigger than the female elks but they will almost always be bigger than the caribou. Their weight will vary differently too. A lot of elks will definitely be much heavier as compared to the caribou.


L. Bonadio

Its kind of my job to give answers

L. Bonadio, Teacher, MCA, PhD, Toledo

Answered Aug 27, 2019

A lot of people usually assume that the elk and caribou are the same but they do have some differences with each other. Caribou are known to be highly similar to how the elk looks but they are found in Greenland and North America. This type of animal has never been domesticated.

The elk is one of the largest species of the Cervidae family. The place where they prefer to live is also different. The Elk would rather live in places that are woody while the Caribou would prefer to stay in places that are grassy. Caribou is the only deer species wherein the male and female both grow antlers that shed periodically.


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