Habitat is an important aspect of a moose’s existence. Moose can only be found in the northern hemisphere. The majority of these mammals are located in Canada and Alaska; however, they can be found in the northern parts of Europe and Asia. In the eastern hemisphere, moose are referred to as elk.
Adult males can weigh up to 1800 pounds and grow up to six feet tall. Usually cows, female moose, weigh less only reaching 1300 pounds.
What Are These For?
Another difference between bulls and cows is that the bulls grow antlers. Growing up to five feet across, these antlers shed yearly in the late fall only to be regrown the following spring. These vertebrates use their antlers mainly to attract a mate; however they may be used to ward off predators if needed.
Ready For Winter
In addition to losing their antlers, the fall brings a thickening of a moose’s dark brown coat as a ready protection for the upcoming cold of the winter. They can survive temperatures reaching –22 degrees Fahrenheit because their six to eight inch hairs are hollow to provide insulation.
Two additional unique features moose have are their noses and ears. Moose have a keen sense of hearing. Their large ears can swivel 180 degrees to allow them to hear from all directions. These are several features that make the moose’s appearance unique.
Look at this Schnoz
Moose were given the nickname ‘Old Bucket Nose’ because of their large upper lip and elongated muzzles. Like most members of the deer family, moose have a good sense of smell.
A moose’s life encompasses many different things, such as eating habits, reproductive cycle, and the prey-predator relationship. Living in the boreal forest, moose generally eat twigs, berries, and other plants. On average, an adult moose eats up to 44 pounds of vegetation each day. In the summer, moose like to treat themselves to pond weeds and lily pads. In the winter, food becomes scarce, so the moose eat bark from trees. One of their favorites is willow bark.
Moose are herbivores and eat only vegetation. However, they have predators that hunt them. Man is a moose’s most threatening predator. Big game hunting seasons are common throughout the Rocky Mountain region of the United States and Canada. Nearly 90,000 moose are harvested annually in North America.
The Natural Enemies
For most of the year, bull moose are solitary animals. In early fall, they bellow and fight to attract a mate. Eight months later in late spring, reddish-brown calves are born.
Cows usually give birth to single calves, but twins are not totally uncommon to older cows. When a calf is born, it cannot walk for several days. It is only a matter of time, five days, before the calf would be able to outrun a man. Calves typically stay with their mothers until the following mating season. Moose can be expected to live up to 25 years.