I was wondering if you could shed some light on a question that has bugged me for as long as I can remember.
I can never work out what an 'elk' is supposed to refer to. Alces alces is a moose, Rangifer tarandus is a reindeer, or caribou (although confusingly I have seen Alces alces called caribou once or twice...)
However, I've heard the name 'wapiti' tossed around quite a bit, and wikipedia tells me that this is Cervus canadensis, also called an elk. Other sources have told me that wapiti is another name for Rangifer tarandus, and 'elk' simply refers to Alces alces.
Which is most common? When someone describes an 'elk' or a 'wapiti' or a 'caribou' which should I assume they are talking about??