Moose and Elk are majestic pets that are distant relatives the deer. These pets are known for their massive size and huge antlers. Though moose and elk look similar to every other, they no the same. Moose and also elk space different species that have a lot of in common. As result of which it have the right to be quite tricky to identify them accurately.

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So, what room the differences in between moose and elk? The many notable difference between the moose and also the elk lies in the form of their antlers. Moose have huge and flat antlers the can expectations 6ft in between the tips whereas, elk have actually elongated and also branched antlers. Also, moose are typically larger than elks.

Moose are larger than elks. The adult moose can prosper up come 6.5ft high (from hooves to shoulders) while weighing much more than 300kg. Elks are usually 5ft tall and weigh much less than 300kg.

Apart indigenous these distinctions in their physical appearance, over there are distinctions in their habitat, behavior, and also diet.

In this article, us will have actually an in-depth look into moose and elk appearance, diet, habitat, and behavior and also discuss the similarities and also differences between a moose and also an elk.


Moose vs Elk AppearanceCan Moose and also Elk swim?

Moose vs Elk comparison Chart

Average Height6.5ft5ft
Average body Weight360 to 600kg147 to 499
Adapted come live in extreme wintersYesYes
Shape that AntlersLarge and also flat antlersElongated with many points protruding indigenous the key branch
Lifespan15 come 25 years10 to 13 years
Conservation statusLeast ConcernLeast Concern
Found in wildYesYes

Moose vs Elk Appearance

Moose and elk look practically the same other than for the form of your antlers and color of their fur. But if you look closely, you have the right to see the they both different in dimension too. In this section, us will have a look in ~ the differences between a moose and also elk based on:


Moose space the largest among the two. Lock can flourish up to 6.5ft tall (from hooves come shoulders) and weigh a staggering 350kg ~ above average.

Moose are additionally found to present a small degree of sex-related dimorphism whereby the males have tendency to be bigger than the females. For instance, one adult male can weigh a staggering 360 to 600kg if the females just weight approximately 270 to 400kg.

Elk isn’t as tall or heavy as the moose. One adult elk deserve to be 4 come 5 feet tall from hoof to shoulder and weigh 147 to 499 kilograms.

It is necessary to keep in mind that the elk’s antlers can flourish up come 4ft, make them appear taller 보다 the moose. Similar to the moose, elk likewise shows a small degree of sexual dimorphism. Except the males gift taller and heavier, the woman elk lack antlers.


The very first thing we all would notice while spotting a moose or an elk would be your antlers. If you have seen them, you might also know the the antlers of the 2 look really different native one another.

Moose antlers

Moose have large yet flat antlers that have the right to span nearly 6ft lengthy from the edges. Despite it might seem the moose usage their big antlers because that defending themselves against predators, the isn’t the major purpose.

They primarily use your antlers for mating displays and also to forage underwater for food. Moose grows your antlers during spring and summer and shed them during winter. It is essential to keep in mind that the antlers’ dimension tells a lot around the age & wellness of a moose.

Apart indigenous being used for self-defense, foraging, and as a symbol because that mating, these antlers enhance their listening abilities. Moose, in general, have the right to rotate their ears easily, providing them stereophonic hear ability.

In a recent study, it was found that the antlers of the moose act prefer an amplifier and that it deserve to amplify sound by nearly 20%.

Elk antlers

Unlike the moose, the antlers that elk are elongated with numerous points protruding indigenous the key branch. Though the elk’s antlers look different from that of a moose, they serve the exact same purpose, and also both grow and shed their antlers in ~ the very same time.

Like the moose, elk burned their antlers throughout summer once their testosterone levels room at the shortest mark. Fan to the short levels that testosterone, the bone i beg your pardon connects the antlers come the skull deteriorates, and also eventually, the antler falls off.


In many parts that the USA & Canada, the is legal to hunt under moose and elk for their meat and also other products. Whereas, in part places, it is legal to hunt one among moose and elk. In short, you need to track down the right pet that you space going to hunt.

Moose hooves

When it pertains to hunting, the best means to determine the animal is by using its tracks. Moose have huge hooves that space pointy at one end. Having actually pointy hooves have the right to be attributed to the reality that moose don’t move much, unlike the elk.

Moose tracks

Due to the pointy tips of the hooves, the tracks will have actually the shapes of elongated hearts. As stated earlier, moose space heavier 보다 the elk, which way that the monitor of the moose are going to be a bit deeper 보다 that the the elk.

Elk are animals that travel in packs because of i beg your pardon the monitor would have prints that a heard that elk. Through the onset of winter, elk deserve to be seen traveling virtually 100 miles under the mountains trying to find food and habitat. This elk migrate ago to the heights throughout the start of spring.

Elk hooves

Due come elk’s migratory behavior, lock have large and rounded hooves that help them traverse such long distances. Elk isn’t as heavy as the moose. They have actually a lighter footprint than the moose.

Another vital thing come note about elk is the reality they move in herds, which have the right to be figured out from the tracks that leave behind.


Because of extreme winters in the areas they live in, both moose and elk have actually thick hair to safeguard them from extreme winters.

The thick hair is, in fact, a double-layered coating v thick and long hairs on the outside and also an inside layer of safety hairs.

This honeycomb structure helps the moose and elk keep the water the end while castle dive underwater in search of food. The is vital to keep in mind that the thick fur starts shedding in ~ the beginning of summer.

The only difference in the hair of a moose and also an elk lies in that is color. Moose have actually a darker fur than the elks and appears black.

Now that we have disputed their morphological characteristics, let us have actually a look at at their social behaviors and habits.

Social Behaviour

As stated in the ahead sections, moose room solitary animals whereas, elk are not. Elk tends to travel in herds. The just time you would see a moose travelling with various other moose will be either throughout the adjustment season or once the female (cow) travels through the calf.


Both elk and also moose shows significant levels of aggression. Plenty of things deserve to potentially do them stressed and agitated, such together being challenged by dogs, traffic, when they space hungry or tired, and also most importantly, as soon as humans gain too close to them.

But the being said, they aren’t going come draw an initial blood. The finest thing to do If girlfriend spot a moose or an elk is to preserve a safe distance from them and also find an different route.

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Similarly, if you spot a moose or an elk resting under a deck or up against your house, don’t try to follow them away or strategy them. There space high possibilities for lock to obtain aggressive and to attack.