Elk vs Moose: What’s the Difference

Elks and Moose are two very similar animals. They both belong to the deer family and they look alike. What makes them different?

Moose and elk are members of the same species, Cervus Canadensis, and they share many similarities. Both are large mammals that live in North America. The main difference between these two animals is their size. Moose are much larger than elk.

Both elk and moose are herbivores, meaning they eat plants. Elk prefer grasslands and moose prefer forests. Their habitats also differ. Elks tend to stay near water sources such as lakes or rivers, whereas moose prefer dry areas.

Elk vs Moose: Size

The biggest difference between an elk and a moose is their size. An adult male moose can weigh up to 1,600 pounds (722 kilograms) while an adult male elk weighs about 500 pounds (227 kilograms). A female moose can be even bigger at 2,000 pounds (907 kilograms), but this is rare.

An adult elk usually stands taller than a moose; it’s estimated that an elk will stand 5 feet 6 inches tall while a moose may only reach 4 feet 10 inches. However, there are some exceptions. Some moose have been reported to grow to over 7 feet tall!

A moose has longer legs than an elk. It takes more energy for the moose to run because its legs are longer. This means that the moose needs to spend less time resting so it can move around more quickly.

A moose has longer antlers than an elk. Antler growth in moose is slower than in elk. In fact, a moose can take up to 20 years before reaching full maturity.

Elk vs Moose: Appearance

There are several differences in appearance between an elk and moose. First, you’ll notice that an elk has darker fur on its head and neck. Its face looks like a bulldog.

Elk have long, straight horns that curve forward. These horns are used for fighting with other males. When an elk fights another animal, he uses his horns to push the opponent away.

Unlike elk, moose do not have horns. Instead, they have antlers. Unlike the horns of an elk, antlers do not curve. They’re flat and point backwards.

Another major difference is the shape of the ears. An elk has ear tufts that stick out from its sides. Moose have rounded ears that hang down.

Elk Vs Moose: Behavior

Elk and moose are quite similar when it comes to behavior. Both are social animals that need to communicate with each other.

When an elk sees something interesting, it calls out loudly. If another elk hears him, then the first one stops calling. This way, the second elk knows where the first elk is.

If a moose hears something interesting, it sounds off by blowing air through its nose. This lets other moose know what direction the sound came from.

If a moose finds food, it eats it. Afterwards, it leaves tracks in the snow. Other moose follow the tracks back home.

Elk Vs Moose: Diet

Elk and Moses are both herbivores. That means they eat mostly plants. They eat grasses, twigs, bark, fruits, nuts, seeds, roots, bulbs, fungi, and insects.

Elk eat almost anything they find, including berries, mushrooms, cattails, tree buds, lichens, moss, and dandelions.

Moose eat mainly grasses, herbs, shrubs, and trees. They also eat leafy green vegetables, fruit, flowers, and bark.

Elk Vs Moos: Nose

Both elk and moose use their noses to smell things. Their nostrils are located on top of their heads. The nostrils open into two tubes called “nares.”

Each nare is connected to a nasal cavity that contains a network of tiny hairs. The hairs help trap particles of dirt or dust that enter the nose.

Elk vs Moose: Antlers

Antlers are used by male elk and moose to fight with other males. During this fight, the horns of the elk or moose get stuck together.

The horned part of the elk or moose gets bigger as the fight goes on. Eventually, the horns become locked together.

After the fight, the elk or mooses shake off the horns and go about their business.

Elk vs Moose: Fur

Elk and moose are covered in hair. But there’s a big difference between how much hair they have.

An elk has thick underfur that keeps him warm during cold weather. He sheds this fur twice a year.

A moose does not have any underfur. It only has a thin layer of skin covering its body. This layer helps keep the moose warm in cold weather.

Elk vs Moos: Teats

Elk and moos have teats. Each teat holds milk.

A female elk give birth once every four years. She usually gives birth in early spring.

She will give birth to up to three calves at a time. The calf stays close to mom until she can stand on her own. Then, the mother takes her baby away.

Moos stay with their mothers for life. A female moose may give birth to up to 10 calves.

They usually give birth in late summer or fall.

Elk vs Moose: Who is more aggressive?

In most cases, an elk is more aggressive than a moose. However, if you’re looking for a fight, go with the moose!


Can elk and moose mate?

Yes. Male elk and moose do mate. Female elk and moose don’t mate.

How long does it take for an elk to grow antlers?

It depends on the age of the elk. Young elks don’t grow antlers. Older elks grow antlers after they reach sexual maturity.

Do elk and moose fight?

Yes. Both elk and moose are territorial animals. When one animal sees another, it makes a loud noise. If the animal doesn’t stop making noises, then it becomes aggressive.

Does moose meat taste like elk?

No. Moose meat tastes different from elk meat. Moose meat is leaner and less gamey tasting.


Elk and moose are very different animals. But they do share some similarities. For example, they both love to eat.

But elks are larger than moose. And they are more aggressive. So if you’re planning on hunting either animal, make sure you know your prey before going after them.

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