nineveh_uk (nineveh_uk) wrote,
nineveh_uk
nineveh_uk

Cervical Disambiguation*

It has been brought to my attention that other people may have watched slightly fewer David Attenborough (and other wildlife) documentaries**, in their formative years, and thus be a little hazy on the finer point of which large-antlered ruminant mammals are which. This post aims to remedy this deficiency.

Alces alces

Male and female.

This is the very big animal, the male of which has very big antlers, known in Europe as an elk, and in North America as a moose. Alleged to be shy and retiring, it is seldom seen except when crashing into cars, getting drunk on fermented apples, and engaging in threesomes in Swedish gardens.

Sometimes it is referred to as the European elk to avoid confusion with...

Cervus Canadensis

This is the considerably smaller (but still large) animal with big, but very different, antlers, again possessed only by the males, known in North America as an elk (and according to Wikipedia, the wapiti). It is sometimes called the North American elk to avoid confusion with alces alces. It was once believed to be a sub-species of the Eurasian deer...

Cervus elaphus

The red deer. This is the considerably smaller (but still large) animal that is in fact different species from Cervus Canadensis. Again, only the males have antlers.

Rangifer tarandus

This is the Latin name for the animal called the reindeer in Europe and Siberia and the caribou in North America. They do not customarily have red noses. Almost all migrate. Both females and males have antlers. Most European reindeer are semi-domesticated.

Oh yes, one more. This is a robin. This is an American robin.

*Thanks to [personal profile] biascut for the title.

**With accompanying books.
Tags: wildlife
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