A male moose has a ‘dewlap’, a dangling flap under the chin. The size and shape of the dewlap may indicate dominance level. Males also use the dewlap to scent mark females by rubbing it against them during the mating season.
Amazing Facts About the Moose
- Moose are the largest of all the deer species in the world.
- Only male moose (bulls) have antlers. The particular shape differs from animal to animal and they are shed every year around November, being replaced with larger ones the forthcoming spring. The primary function of antlers is for display during the competitive mating season. They can grow up to 1.8 m long end-to-end.
- Moose are peaceful animals which very rarely become aggressive. They will however defend themselves if threatened and males can become more highly strung during the mating season. The most common “aggressive” behaviour is however bluffing to charge, so that they remain safe without the need for combat.
- Females (cows) often give birth to twins, and even sometimes triplets. They are very attentive and protective mothers. Calves are able to browse alongside their mothers after around 3 weeks and are weaned at about 5 months. They however stay with their mothers for at least a year.
- A male moose has a ‘dewlap’, a dangling flap under the chin. The size and shape of the dewlap may indicate dominance level. Males also use the dewlap to scent mark females by rubbing it against them during the mating season.
- Moose can travel at speeds up to 35mph, and can trot steadily for 32 km in just an hour.
- Despite their size and weight, moose are very adept swimmers. They are able to swim for several miles and can even be totally submerged under the water for around 30 seconds.
- The global moose population is estimated to be over 2 million, with the largest population being found in Canada.
- The name ‘moose’ is believed to originate from ‘mus’ and ‘moos’ which mean ‘eater of twigs’ or ‘he who strips of the bark’ in the Algonquian North American Indian family of languages. The name is apt given that moose are browsers rather than grazers.
- The moose is the official state animal of Maine in the USA.
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- Type: Mammal
- Diet: Herbivore
- Lifespan: 15-25 years
- Size: 1.5 to 2 m tall at the shoulder, males bigger than females
- Weight: 400-700 kg, males heavier than females
- Habitat: Woodland and mountain meadows
- Range: North America, Europe and Asia
- Scientific name: Alces alces