Introduction - MooseThe Moose, who is also known as the American Moose, belongs to the deer family and is one of the largest mammals in all of North America. Moose prefer to live in forests, where a water source such as a stream or pond is in close proximity. They can be found in the Boreal Forest of Canada and Alaska as well as many other regions in the United States. What makes this gentle giant so interesting is the fact that the male Moose, also called the bull Moose, has antlers that can reach 6 feet wide (182 cm) when measured from tip to tip. In the list of information below you will discover many more facts about this amazing species. This information is written for both kids and adults.
Click here for a great selection of Amazon.com books about the Moose.
Basic Moose Facts
- Moose are fast runners. They can sprint up to 35 mph (56 km/h) when covering short distances. For longer distances, they can trot at approximately 20 mph (32 km/h).
- These herbivores consume a diet of pine cones, shrubs, bark, twigs, willows and evergreen trees as well as seasonal water plants.
- Moose have 32 teeth in all but no teeth at all in the upper front section of the mouth.
- They are solitary animals that travel alone for the most part. Mating season brings the males together to fight and the males and females together to mate. Afterwards they go their separate ways until the next mating season.
- Moose are tall animals that can reach 7 1/2 feet tall (2.3 meters). Short, brown or black fur covers their bodies. They have particularly long noses and large ears. A flap of skin hangs under their throat called a bell.
- The large hooves of a Moose serve two purposes. They help to clear and scrape snowy areas for underlying food such as moss, and they keep the moose from sinking into deep snow by acting as snowshoes.
- Moose are actually very good swimmers for their size. They can travel several miles in the water at rates of up to 6 miles per hour and even go completely under water for very short periods of time.
Moose Antler Facts
- Only male Moose have antlers.
- Moose antlers can weigh as much as 90lbs (40.8 kilograms).
- At about a year old, the Bull Moose will begin to grow its first pair of antlers.
- Antlers are shed each winter and new, larger antlers grow in each year.
- The purpose of the large antlers is two-fold. Large antlers attract the females during breeding season but also the larger the antlers, the more dominance the Moose has among the herd.
Moose Reproduction Facts
- After an eight month gestation period, one or two calves are born to a female Moose each spring.
- The size of the males antlers is important during mating season which is in the fall from September-October.
- The males become aggressive during mating season and fight other males using their antlers. The winner mates with the cow (female Moose).
- Calves are approximately 30 pounds (14 kg) when born and grow very rapidly.
- Calves will stay with the mother until the next mating season when they are a year old.