The moose (in North America) or elk (in Eurasia) (Alces alces) is a member of the New World deer subfamily. It is the largest and heaviest extant species in the deer family. Hunting and other human activities have caused a reduction in the size of the moose's range over time. It has been reintroduced to some of its former habitats.
Diurnal animals are active during the daytime, with a period of sleeping or other inactivity at night. The timing of activity by an animal depends ...
A herbivore is an animal anatomically and physiologically adapted to eating plant material, for example, foliage, for the main component of its die...
In zoology, a folivore is a herbivore that specializes in eating leaves. Mature leaves contain a high proportion of hard-to-digest cellulose, less ...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Precocial species are those in which the young are relatively mature and mobile from the moment of birth or hatching. Precocial species are normall...
Browsing is a type of herbivory in which an herbivore (or, more narrowly defined, a folivore) feeds on leaves, soft shoots, or fruits of high-growi...
A cursorial organism is one that is adapted specifically to run. An animal can be considered cursorial if it has the ability to run fast (e.g. chee...
Among animals, viviparity is the development of the embryo inside the body of the parent. The term 'viviparity' and its adjective form 'viviparous'...
Polygamy is the practice of breeding with multiple partners. When a male breeds with more than one female at the same time – it is called polygyny....
A dominance hierarchy (formerly and colloquially called a pecking order) is a type of social hierarchy that arises when members of animal social gr...
Partial migration is when within a migratory species or even within a single population, some individuals migrate while others do not.
CaCanada Province Animals
The coloring of these animals ranges from brown to a dusky black depending on the animal’s age and the time of year, with calves often having a light rusty coloring. Most adult males have distinctive broad, palmate ("open-hand shaped") antlers; most other members of the deer family have antlers with a dendritic ("twig-like") configuration. Moose have long legs, the front legs being longer than the back ones. Their snout is long and they have a droopy bottom lip and a shoulder hump. Under their chin is a flap of skin that is like a bird’s wattle. Their tail is short and each foot has two large toes with hooves and two smaller toes. They can move fast, even in the wet and mud. Their two large toes spread widely apart to stop them from sinking.
Moose inhabit northern North America. They are found throughout Canada, Alaska, the northeastern United States, and right down in Colorado in the Rocky Mountains. They are also found in large numbers in northern European countries and throughout Russia. Some populations of moose (especially in Europe) migrate, however, others remain in one area throughout the year. Moose typically inhabit boreal forests and temperate broadleaf and mixed forests. They can also be found near swamps, lakes, rivers, and wetlands, in open country in the lowlands and mountains, including farmland, if there is a forest nearby.
Moose are active during the day. They tend to be solitary, and the strongest bonds developed between mother and calf. Sometimes two individuals will feed at the same stream. Herds are usually seen during the breeding season but may contain only two adults. A moose is able to run at 35 miles per hour (56km/h) and easily swims 10 miles. They will rest in shallow water to cool off or to escape from biting insects. They rely on their good sense of smell, as they have poor eyesight. Often, while eating, moose will suddenly stop to listen out for any threats. You can tell if a moose might attack when the long hairs on the hump are raised and the ears are laid back.
Moose are herbivorous animals and they eat birch and aspen twigs, sedges, horsetail, roots, grasses, and pond weeds. They eat leaves, buds, twigs, and bark from some woody plants, also lichens, aquatic plants, and several of the taller herbaceous plants that grow on land. Moose are able to forage for aquatic plants both under and on the water.
Moose are polygynous meaning that males mate with several females during the breeding season which occurs in September and October. During this time both sexes will call to each other. Males produce heavy grunting sounds that can be heard from up to 500 meters away, while females produce wail-like sounds. Males will fight for access to females. Female moose have an eight-month gestation period, usually bearing one calf, or twins if food is plentiful, in May or June. Newborn moose have fur with a reddish hue in contrast to the brown appearance of an adult. The young are weaned 5 months after birth but will stay with the mother until just before the next young are born. Moose become reproductively mature when they are 2 years old and are fully grown at 4 or 5.
Habitat degradation and hunting are the major threats to these beautiful animals. Moose are hunted for meat as well as for sport and as an ecotourism activity. Predation of calves by Brown bears also poses a serious threat to moose populations.
According to IUCN Red List, specific moose populations have been estimated in such areas: Czech Republic - maximum of 50 individuals, Estonia - 10,000 individuals, Finland - at least 110,000 individuals, Poland - 2,800 individuals, Sweden - 340,000 individuals. In North America, the estimated moose population is approximately one million individuals. Overall, currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List, and its numbers today are increasing.
Through browsing, moose have a dramatic effect on plant communities and may inhibit the reforestation of pine and spruce forests, thus having a possible negative effect on the timber industry.
Attempts have been made to domesticate moose, as has been done with deer, sheep, and cattle. Russia has used moose both for pacifistic and military purposes, and other countries have followed suit. Moose can supply meat and milk, and in northern Europe and Asia, they were used as beasts of burden. In Russia moose have successfully pulled sleighs weighing 400kg at 3-4 km/h for a whole day. In Siberia and Sweden, they have been trained for riding on - in particular, for military purposes.