Habitat: Coniferous forests, meadows, grasslands, burns, logged areas
Average Lifespan: 14-26 years
Diet: Grasses, forbs, young trees, conifers
Originally ranging across the great North American continent, the elk species have reduced their range to the northern reaches of the United States and into Canada, yet dipping down south as far as Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee. Elk are larger than deer and can weigh up to 500 pounds for a cow, and 700 pounds for a bull. Their color is deep copper brown to light tan with a light beige rump patch and legs and neck that are often darker than the body. Subsisting mostly on grasses and forbs throughout the year; shrubs, tree bark and twigs make their way into their winter diet as well. Much like a dairy cow, the elk's stomach consists of four chambers. The first chamber stores food while the other three digest.
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