The moose or Eurasian elk, is only behind the bison
as the second largest land animal in North America and
Europe. Moose are a member of the deer family, and inhabit
forests of the Northern Hemisphere. All moose are herbivores,
and need to consume nearly 10,000 calories per day to
maintain their body weight. As much as half of their
diet usually consists of aquatic plant life. In winter,
moose are often drawn to roadways, to lick salt that
is used as a snow and ice melter. A typical moose can
eat up to 71 pounds of food per day.
There are 6 different subspecies of moose: Elk (Alces
alces alces), Eastern Moose (Alces alces americana),
Western Moose (Alces alces andersoni), Siberian Moose
(Alces alces cameloides), Alaska Moose (Alces alces
gigas), and Shiras Moose (Alces alces shirasi).
A male moose will lose its antlers after the mating
season and conserve energy for the winter. A new set
of antlers will regrow in the spring, taking 3 to 5
months to completely develop. This makes antlers one
of the fastest growing animal organs. The antlers initially
have a layer of skin, called velvet, but this is shed
once the antlers are fully grown.
A large adult moose stands nearly 7 feet high at the
shoulder, weighing in at up to 1600 pounds, with antlers
spanning 6 feet. The largest moose species is Alces
alces gigas, which matches the extinct Irish Elk as
the largest deer of all time. The largest moose was
7.5 feet tall at the shoulder, and weighed 1800 pounds.
Moose attack more people than bears and wolves combined.
However, the results of these attacks are usually minor.
A full-grown moose has few enemies. These enemies include
wolves, Siberian tigers, brown bears, black bears, and
cougars. Killer whales are the only known marine predator
of the moose.
About the Author
Jacob Maddox manages content for Wildlife Animals http://www.wildlife-animals.com
an educational wildlife and animal website. Jacob also
guest writes for Dog Pound http://www.dog-pound.net