Quick Moose Facts:
Scientific name is Alces alces;
Known as the "elk" in Europe and Asia;
Males shed their antlers every year after mating season;
Must kneel in order to eat low-growing plants;
Hang around highways during winter to lick salt from the side of the road.
The moose is the largest member of the cervid (deer) family. It is horse-sized, standing 6-8 feet high and can weigh as much as 1,850 pounds!, yet it is an excellent swimmer, and it can do spurts of 35 mph in the water.
Readily identified by its long, rounded snout, humped shoulders, large ears, and dewlap under the chin (that thing hanging down), the moose is normally passive and shy, but has been known to charge aggressively during the rut or when calves are present.
The male of the species tends to be larger than the female and grows enormous, flat, spiny, horns that can attain spreads of 4-7 feet in length. The horns are used not only for defense, but also to mark territory by thrashing trees and shrubs, and to uproot submerged vegetation. Check the moose skull photo below.
It lives in spruce forests, swamps, aspen and willow thickets of Canada, the Northeastern United States, Minnesota, Alaska, and areas of the Rocky Mountain regions of Utah and Colorado. The moose migrates seasonally, found in small herds in winter where it feeds on twigs, bark, buds, and other wooded matter.
In spring, as ice begins to thaw, the moose gather at streams, rivers, ponds, and lakes to feed on willows and aquatic vegetation, especially the leaves of water lilies, which are a favorite. Not too long ago, a moose fell through the ice here and it was big news on the local radio. Crowds gathered to watch as Fire and Rescue crews worked for hours to bring the moose to shore.
The cows birth 1-2 calves in May or June weighing 25-35 pounds each. The normal life span of this mighty mammal is about 15-20 years, as wolves are its only natural predator.
You can buy "Brake For Moose" T-shirts and sweatshirts from the NH Fish & Game Dept. It is serious business here and quite dangerous to hit a moose.
Moose || Raven || Turkey || Wolves
Avian Critter || Canine Critter || Human Critters
Beanie Critters || Wild Critters
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