Elk are also referred to as "wapiti", which is from the Native American word waapiti, or "white rump" used by the Shawnee. Elk are widely distributed across North America and Eastern Asia, and have been transplanted to other countries such as New Zealand and Argentina. American elk are not to be confused with the European animal also known as the elk, which is the moose of North America. Early European explorers to North America, who were familiar with the smaller Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) of Europe, believed that the much larger North American animal looked more like moose, which in Europe is called an elk. The renaming has become part of the common vocabulary of North Americans.