DUNCAN SHAW / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DUNCAN SHAW / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Rutting stag. Red deer stag (Cervus elaphus) thrashing its antlers in a mud wallow during the rutting season. The rutting season, which takes place in the autumn, is when the stags (male deer) compete with each other for breeding rights over a herd of hinds (female deer). The stags will bellow and roar at each other, and will also engage in battles using their antlers. Stags will also aggressively thrash their antlers on trees, dead wood and muddy ground. The red deer is found throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere, and is known as the elk and the wapiti in other parts of its range. In the UK it is the largest native land animal, and a male can stand nearly two metres tall. Photographed in October in Cairngorms National Park, in the Highland region of Scotland.
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