Moose! Thanks for starting this forum topic.
WolfQuest's December Giveaway Contest topic was ...wait for it...MOOSE! To enter, people sent in three interesting facts about moose. I have been compiling some of the highlights (we received over 150 moose facts!). Thank you to everyone who participated in the contest and provided this great info about our newest WQ residents.
For your edification and aMOOSEment, here are:
Interesting Facts About Moose
General Moose Facts
Scientific name: Alces alces
The word North American name 'moose' comes from the native North American Algonquian word that means 'twig eater' (in Europe, moose are called elk).
Moose lifespan is 12- 25 years.
According to an Algonquian belief, you could have a long life if you dream of moose.
The plural of moose is moose.
Moose are the largest members of the deer family and are among the largest mammals in the Northern Hemisphere.
Moose are solitary and do not live in herds.
Moose populations in the United States: Alaska 175,000; Maine 30,000; Wyoming 15,000; Minnesota 10,000.
Moose mating season is in October–September
Moose hair is hollow! This helps keep them warm in the winter. It also makes it hard to dive underwater.
Moose can close their nostrils for underwater eating.
The flap on their neck is called a bell and nobody is really sure about its purpose
Moose hooves are large and wide, acting like snowshoes to support the heavy animals in snow, mud or marshy ground.
The hump on the moose’s is made of massive shoulder muscles.
The long legs of moose allow them to travel through deep snow and even swim in deep water. They also use their legs to kick predators or maneuver over obstacles.
Only male moose grow antlers, bigger each year, and they use them to fight. Females are impressed by big antlers as they are a sign of the good health of a male in its prime.
Antlers can measure up 6 feet (1.8 meters) and may weigh 40-50 pounds (18-22 kg).
Male moose lose their antlers every winter and grow new ones the following spring. Moose antlers are the fastest growing tissue in any mammals, growing bigger by a pound and an inch each day!
Moose are excellent swimmers and can swim up to 6 miles an hour. They have also been known to swim without stopping at a stretch of 10 miles (16 km) and can remain submerged for up to 30 seconds.
Moose love water. It keeps them cool, offers a delicious salad bar, and keeps biting insects at bay. They can submerge to eat, closing their nostrils so water stays out.
Moose can run faster than you! They can run up to 35 mph (56 km/h) and trot steadily at 20 mph (32 km/h).
Moose's milk 3-4 times fatter than a domestic cow 's milk. It contains five times more protein.
Moose are nearsighted but to see well at close range they must roll their eyes forward. This is not due so much to poor vision as it is to eye placement. Because their eyes are set more to the sides of the head they have a rather large blind spot in front of them. (http://www.mooseworld.com/biologist.htm
Moose also can’t see distant things well so they rely on their sense of smell and hearing.
Moose have an excellent sense of smell. Those big moose snouts are good for something!
Moose have great hearing. Their large ears rotate, giving them stereophonic hearing
A study has also found that their antlers' sound-gathering qualities boost their hearing by 19%.
Moose hate the heat. They prefer zones where the summer average is around 59ºF (15ºC) and does not exceed 80ºF (27ºC) for long. The reason for this temperature dependency: They cannot sweat and they produce additional heat by fermentation in their gut. (http://mooseworld.com/mooseman/index.htm
On a warm winter day, moose may lay on their sides in the snow to cool down.
Moose are herbivores so they eat only plants. They may eat as much as 50 to 60 pounds per day. They love willow and aspen the most. In the summer, they also eat lots of aquatic plants and in the winter they browse on bark and twigs.
Moose have digestive systems similar to domestic cattle. They are "ruminants" and have four parts to their stomachs. Following eating periods, they will rest and return partially digested food from their stomach to their mouths to "chew the cud" and more completely break down their food before swallowing it again.
Moose have no upper front teeth. This is handy for sucking up small aquatic plants while eating underwater.
Moose require an average of 9770 calories of food per day to maintain their body weight - that's around 5 times as much food as humans eat. They can store up to 100 pounds in their bellies!
Moose calves can weigh 25 to 35 pounds at birth.
Twins are not uncommon, as long as a moose female is healthy.
Calves can run within a few days and swim well within two weeks.
Calves stay with their mothers for a year and are usually driven away to make room for the next one.
Bears and wolves are said to kill 75% of moose calves each year.
Threats to Moose
Human hunters and traffic are top ways for a moose to die.
Bears and wolves eat moose but an adult moose is a formidable opponent. Black bears and wolves are a big threat to moose calves.
Moose are affected by a life-threatening parasite is called brainworm which also infects white-tailed deer (but they are less susceptible than moose). Certain snails carry brainworm larvae (Parelaphostrongylus tenuis), and moose frequently ingest these small snails while foraging in warm, shallow water. Brain worms cause neurological damage that can be fatal to moose.
Global warming has led to increased tick populations which can infest a moose. This leads to weakness from blood loss. Moose also rub off their fur trying get rid of the ticks and these bald patches make it hard to get through the winter. Cold winters keep ticks in check.
A “moose test” is a car manufacturer’s test to see how well a car can avoid a suddenly appearing obstacle.
Moose are really bad to hit with your car and not just because they are huge. "The problem with elks is their proportions. They have very long legs, which means that in a frontal collision, you drive into the legs and the body falls onto the car. Given the weight of the animals this can wreck the vehicle and cause very serious injuries to drivers." (And to the moose, of course.) (http://www.spiegel.de/international/ger ... 53581.html
It is said that a moose once swam from Sweden to Denmark. Unfortunately, after about a week it was hit by a train (or shot, depending on the story).
Moose are milked and this milk is sold and consumed by humans in places like Canada, Sweden and Russia. Moose milk is said to be good for treating stomach ulcers.
Moose in Europe are called elk.
There are more moose in Sweden per square kilometer than any other country. The population of the moose in Sweden is 300,000-400,000
You can ride moose! "Allegedly, the Swedes achieved some success and were able to train and ride moose. However, the moose’s vulnerability to livestock diseases, fear of gunfire, and tendency to terrify all horses in the vicinity meant the project was discontinued. In modern times, the Soviets experimented with war moose in the 1930s, but the animals were unprepared at the outbreak of the Winter War and never saw action." (http://listverse.com/2015/01/22/10-weir ... -military/