In appearance elk difficult to confuse with other members of the deer, as is characteristic of his appearance. His body is short, with well-developed chest, his head is large, and unusually elongated hook-nosed, the neck is short, but powerful. The front part of the body is much more massive than the rear.
The animals of both sexes under the throat is soft leathery outgrowth — earring, reaching a three-four animals the largest size. At a certain stage of its development, it disappears, and it is a small outgrowth. U.S. researchers find earrings that have moose in North America reaches the higher value, a means of optical signal needed for intra otnosheniy.V general elk hardly graceful animals. However, the addition of roughness does not prevent them to move freely wetlands and easily overcome the obstacles in the woods and obstacles. This is facilitated by long legs, ending with black, smooth and sharp hooves. Last provide a reliable defense weapon against enemies. Between the fingers are strong ligaments that allow moose to walk on the soft and slimy ground and stay in the marshes, where others go hoof impossible. Moose run rarely and reluctantly, usually in times of danger or in rut, chasing females. During the feeding of elk leisurely gait, stride length of 60-70 cm and a low speed — 1.5-2 km / h. In the relaxed atmosphere of elk running speed of 10 km / h, nepugannye animals, such as motor vehicles, run faster — 30 or even 50 km / h, but at the pace they are able to run a short distance, a mile or so. Despite its slowness, at the right time elk is very agile and can jump over a four-meter ditch and two-meter fence. Moose swim and dive. They are easy to overcome water obstacles at 2-3 km, in some cases, can even swim 20 km. Speed calmly floating moose 2 km / h. Moose on the five-meter deep dive and remain under water 30-60 seconds. Standing quietly in the woods to see elk is not as easy as it fades into the background vegetation. This contributes to paint animals. More common dark-brown and black individuals, although they may fall and light-colored. Polymorphism individual moose coloring is not great, and her whole izmenchivot fit the description of the color variations of subspecies. Watching moose, pay attention to their blond legs, strongly contrasting with the dark-colored body. Sexual dimorphism in coloration elk almost not expressed.
Sex of the animal is usually determined by the presence of males to females in the absence of horns. True, this can only be done in those seasons when the males have horns, and at other times have to resort to other, less reliable indicator. With enough skill and experience to distinguish moose Build: elk are somewhat smaller and sleeker bulls. Gender is determined by the shape of elk left on soft subtrate trails in the winter — In respect of the urine in the snow to the next, the hind limbs. There are age-related differences in the composition of elk. Particularly reliably distinguished adult animals, yearlings and fingerlings. A recently born losyat very marked disproportion between the small body, head and unusually long limbs. In the first two months losyata covered red hair, thick and fluffy, which seems to be in July, changing to gray-buroyu approaching in tone to the color of adults. Calves complete moult by mid to late September. In adult animals, it starts at the end of April — beginning of May and usually ends in June, but in the next month may come across some individuals with incomplete molt. Autumn animals get their normal color. There is only one elk spring molt, which in adult bulls begins and ends earlier than in cows and yearlings. Horns of elk have only males. The development of horns preterpivaet individual, age and geographical variability. The shape of horns varies from spitsevidnoy to deer-and shovel-shaped. The number of processes on the horns of their degree of development, stem thickness and weight reflect the physical condition of the animal and very approximate age. At the end of the rut antlers fall off. The beginning of this phenomenon comes in November — December, but even in January — February can be found horned elk. Young males shed their antlers later adults, and more they grow too later. New antlers begin to grow around the end of April — beginning of May, and are covered with soft woolly skin. By the second half of the summer they take the normal size and shape, and in August — early September, cleared of dried up by the time the skin. Do moose well developed sense of smell and hearing, much worse — vision. On a stationary person they react only scenting his or heard the sound of a careless movement. Of the human voice elk alarming. Footsteps, he usually finds for 1.5-3 min before the human ear picks up the sound.
Disposition of these animals the peace, however, during the rut old males during rearing calves female at a meeting with the man sometimes behave aggressively. Inexplicable fact apprehensive and even some moose agresivnovo relationship to the children.