Virtual museum of Canada
Collections from Storage: A Visit to our Hidden Treasures

American Elk

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The Wapiti or American Elk is a mammal in the family Cervidae, the second largest after the Moose. In Canada, this animal may be found in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

It is distinguished by its dark head and neck, compared to its body, and also by its grunts and frequent high-pitched cries. The Shawnee Indian tribe gave it its North-American name, Wapiti, which means "white rump".

It is different from other cervids in that the Wapiti has imposing canine teeth in its upper jaw. In the XIXth century, many were slain solely for these teeth from which jewellery was made.

American Elk or Wapiti - Its North-American name means

Credits : Musée de la nature et des sciences, Sherbrooke

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