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American Elk Journal

$16.00$17.00

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Description

American Elk (Cervus Canadensis)

The elk, or wapiti, is one of the largest species within the deer family, and one of the largest land mammals in North America.  The name “wapiti” is derived from the native Shawnee and Cree languages meaning white rump.

Elk range in forest and forest-edge habitat, feeding on grasses, plants, leaves, and bark.  There are many subspecies of elk which vary in size, but all elk are quite large.  Female cows can weigh between 350-500 pounds.  Male bulls are a good deal larger.  Only the males have antlers, which start to grow in the spring and are shed each winter.  Antlers are made of bone and can grow about an inch each day!  During the fall, elk grow a thicker coat of hair, which helps to insulate them during the winter.

Elk are impressive animals and have played an important role in the cultural history of a number of native peoples, but is of particular spiritual importance to the Lakota, as the embodiment of strength, power, and courage.

artwork by Lisa Baechtle

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