Elk - Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Members of the genus Cervus (and hence early relatives or possible ancestors of the elk) first appear in the fossil record 25 million years ago, during the Oligocene in Eurasia, but do not appear in the North American fossil record until the early Miocene. The extinct Irish Elk (Megaloceros) was not a member of the genus Cervus, but rather the largest member of the wider deer family (Cervidae) known from the fossil record.

Until recently, red deer and elk were considered to be one species, Cervus elaphus. However, mitochondrial DNA studies, conducted on hundreds of samples in 2004 from red deer and elk subspecies as well as other species of the Cervus deer family, strongly indicate that elk, or wapiti, should be a distinct species, namely Cervus canadensis. The previous classification had over a dozen subspecies under the C. elaphus species designation; DNA evidence concludes that elk are more closely related to Thorold's deer and even sika deer than they are to the red deer. Though elk and red deer can produce fertile offspring in captivity, geographic isolation between the species in the wild and differences in mating behaviors indicate that reproduction between them outside a controlled environment would be unlikely. However, the two species have freely inter-bred in New Zealand's Fiordland National Park, where the cross-bred animals have all but removed the pure elk blood from the area.

Read more about this topic:  Elk

Other articles related to "taxonomy":

Taxonomy - Non-biological Taxonomies
... types or classes) in a hierarchy that more or less satisfy the criteria for being a true taxonomy ... Taxonomy, or categorization, in the human cognition has been a major area of research in psychology ... Baraminology is a taxonomy used in creation science which in classifying form taxa resembles folk taxonomies ...
Trachodon - History and Taxonomy
... from Hadrosaurus, he began to reconsider his taxonomy, and suggested, at least informally, that Trachodon should refer to the double-rooted tooth, and the other teeth should ... In the Bone Wars that followed, and their wake, the taxonomy of Trachodon and its relatives became increasingly confusing, with one author going so ...
1938 USDA Soil Taxonomy
... The 1938 USDA soil taxonomy was a soil classification system adopted by the United States Department of Agriculture, now obsolete ... See USDA soil taxonomy for the current system ...
Formatted Text - Markup Languages
... The dog is classified as Canis lupus familiaris in taxonomy ... The dog is classified as Canis lupus familiaris in taxonomy ... as textit{Canis lupus familiaris} in taxonomy ...
Price Discrimination - Modern Taxonomy
... The first/second/third degree taxonomy of price discrimination is due to Pigou (Economics of Welfare, 4th edition, 1932) ... modern taxonomy of price discrimination ... Ivan Png (Managerial Economics, 2nd edition, 2002) suggests an alternative taxonomy Complete discrimination -- where each user purchases up to the point where the user's marginal benefit equals the marginal ...