Elk Photo, Cervus canadensis



Large male elk (bull) in snow covered meadow near Madison River.  Only male elk have antlers, which start growing in the spring and are shed each winter. The largest antlers may be 4 feet long and weigh up to 40 pounds. Antlers are made of bone which can grow up to one inch per day. While growing, the antlers are covered with and protected by a soft layer of highly vascularised skin known as velvet. The velvet is shed in the summer when the antlers have fully developed. Bull elk may have six or more tines on each antler, however the number of tines has little to do with the age or maturity of a particular animal. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA, Cervus canadensis, natural history stock photograph, photo id 19767Add To Light Table
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Male elk bugling during the fall rut. Large male elk are known as bulls. Male elk have large antlers which are shed each year. Male elk engage in competitive mating behaviors during the rut, including posturing, antler wrestling and bugling, a loud series of screams which is intended to establish dominance over other males and attract females. Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA. Image #19693
Bull elk spar to establish harems of females, Gibbon Meadow. Gibbon Meadows, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA. Image #13151
Male elk bugling during the fall rut. Large male elk are known as bulls. Male elk have large antlers which are shed each year. Male elk engage in competitive mating behaviors during the rut, including posturing, antler wrestling and bugling, a loud series of screams which is intended to establish dominance over other males and attract females. Madison River, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA. Image #19697
Male elk bugling during the fall rut. Large male elk are known as bulls. Male elk have large antlers which are shed each year. Male elk engage in competitive mating behaviors during the rut, including posturing, antler wrestling and bugling, a loud series of screams which is intended to establish dominance over other males and attract females. Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA. Image #19698
Elk, bull elk, adult male elk with large set of antlers.  By September, this bull elk's antlers have reached their full size and the velvet has fallen off. This bull elk has sparred with other bulls for access to herds of females in estrous and ready to mate. Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA. Image #19721
Roosevelt elk, adult bull male with large antlers.  This bull elk has recently shed the velvet that covers its antlers. While an antler is growing, it is covered with highly vascular skin called velvet, which supplies oxygen and nutrients to the growing bone; once the antler has achieved its full size, the velvet is lost and the antler's bone dies. This dead bone structure is the mature antler, which is itself shed after each mating season. Roosevelt elk grow to 10' and 1300 lb, eating grasses, sedges and various berries, inhabiting the coastal rainforests of the Pacific Northwest. Redwood National Park, California, USA. Image #25890
Roosevelt elk, adult bull male with large antlers.  This bull elk has recently shed the velvet that covers its antlers. While an antler is growing, it is covered with highly vascular skin called velvet, which supplies oxygen and nutrients to the growing bone; once the antler has achieved its full size, the velvet is lost and the antler's bone dies. This dead bone structure is the mature antler, which is itself shed after each mating season. Roosevelt elk grow to 10' and 1300 lb, eating grasses, sedges and various berries, inhabiting the coastal rainforests of the Pacific Northwest. Redwood National Park, California, USA. Image #25878
Male elk bugling during the fall rut. Large male elk are known as bulls. Male elk have large antlers which are shed each year. Male elk engage in competitive mating behaviors during the rut, including posturing, antler wrestling and bugling, a loud series of screams which is intended to establish dominance over other males and attract females. Madison River, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA. Image #19700
Bull elk in sage brush with large rack of antlers during the fall rut (mating season).  This bull elk has sparred with other bulls to establish his harem of females with which he hopes to mate. Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA. Image #19718
Bull elk, antlers bearing velvet, Gibbon Meadow. Elk are the most abundant large mammal found in Yellowstone National Park. More than 30,000 elk from 8 different herds summer in Yellowstone and approximately 15,000 to 22,000 winter in the park. Bulls grow antlers annually from the time they are nearly one year old. When mature, a bulls rack may have 6 to 8 points or tines on each side and weigh more than 30 pounds. The antlers are shed in March or April and begin regrowing in May, when the bony growth is nourished by blood vessels and covered by furry-looking velvet. Gibbon Meadows, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA. Image #13154

Large male elk (bull) in snow covered meadow near Madison River. Only male elk have antlers, which start growing in the spring and are shed each winter. The largest antlers may be 4 feet long and weigh up to 40 pounds. Antlers are made of bone which can grow up to one inch per day. While growing, the antlers are covered with and protected by a soft layer of highly vascularised skin known as velvet. The velvet is shed in the summer when the antlers have fully developed. Bull elk may have six or more tines on each antler, however the number of tines has little to do with the age or maturity of a particular animal. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Stock Photo: 19767  -?- 
Species: Elk, Cervus canadensis
Location: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA
Format: Digital 2:3
Other Names: wapiti
Copyright © Phillip Colla, all rights reserved worldwide.
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Keywords: animal, animalia, antler, artiodactyla, artiodactyle ungulate, autumn, canadensis, cervid, cervidae, cervinae, cervus, cervus canadensis, cervus elephus canadensis, chordata, creature, elaphus, elk, elk rut, elk rutting season, fall, mammal, national parks, nature, ruminant, rut, rutting season, ungulate, usa, vertebrata, vertebrate, wapiti, wildlife, world heritage sites, wyoming, yellowstone, yellowstone national park

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Updated: March 31, 2020

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