The animal Alces alces,
called the Moose in North America and the Elk in Europe (see also
elk for other animals called elk) is the largest of all the deer
family Cervidae, distinguished from other members of Cervidae
by the form of the antlers of its males. These arise as cylindrical
beams projecting on each side at right angles to the middle line
of the skull, which after a short distance divide in a fork-like
manner. The lower prong of this fork may be either simple, or
divided into two or three tines, with some flattening. The word
"moose" is thought to be from "mus" or "moos"
of the Algonquian (northern American Indian) family of languages.
In the East Siberian
race of the Elk (Alces alces bedfordiae) the posterior division
of the main fork divides into three tines, with no distinct flattening.
In the Common Elk (Alces alces alces), on the other hand, this
branch usually expands into a broad palmation, with one large
tine at the base, and a number of smaller snags on the free border.
There is, however, a Scandinavian phase of the Common Elk in which
the antlers are simpler, and recall those of the East Siberian