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Rocky mountain elk
Wapiti
  • Large mammals are large-sized, warm-blooded animals with hair. Young are nourished with milk from the mother.
  • Large mammals can be sorted into family groups. Each family has unique features. For example, the deer family, which includes deer, elk, and moose, has cloven hooves—a hoof in two parts. They are also cud chewers, equipped with broad, flat teeth and a hard palate, which rolls and crushes cud.
  • Deer also have antlers, which are solid bone and are shed annually. They rub their antlers on trees. Spotting a deer's "rub" on a tree is an indication that deer may be close by. Horns are found on sheep and goats. Horns are hollow and are not shed. Females have horns with half-moon curves, while males have larger horns that curve around each side of the head.
  • Large mammals also can be distinguished by diet. Wolves and mountain lions eat only meat, and bears eat plants and meat.