The long legged moose is the largest of all living deer. It feeds by browsing on trees and marshy vegetation and must eat 45 pounds of food a day. Moose are widespread throughout Canada and Alaska, where the largest animals, which stand as high as seven to eight feet at the shoulder, are found. Slightly smaller moose are also found in parts of Europe and Asia, where they are known as elk.

Habits: Moose are usually solitary animals. During spring and summer the sexes live apart; calves (young moose) live with their mothers. During the warmer months moose prefer low lying areas, often near lakes and marshes. When winter comes the moose move to higher ground, where they seek shelter in forests among birch and in trees.

Where food is plentiful, moose form small groups that include a bull (male moose), several cows cows (female), and their calves. They paw at the snow to expose the edible grass and twigs below. Still. harsh winter conditions often prevent moose from finding enough to eat. Moose that are weak from hunger in winter are sometimes attacked by wolves.

Breeding: Rut (mating season) lasts for several weeks in the fall. The bull competes for one female at a time, but he mates with several in turn. Dominant bulls drive younger bulls away and fight among themselves for the females. The bulls that become badly injured while fighting for mates often fall prey to wolves and bears.

The cow gives birth to one or two young in late spring. The calves cannot walk for the first few days, but by two weeks of age they are able to browse for their own food, and they follow their mother as she forges. They are weaned at five months but stay with their mother until she gives birth again/ The cow sometimes drives the older calves away but allows them to rejoin her when she and her new calves move on.

Food & Feeding:  Moose browse for food during both day and night but are most active at dawn and dusk. They feed on the branches and leaves of willow, birch, and aspen trees.  During the summer months moose feed extensively on vegetation that grows in and Aaron lakes and marshes. They wade in water up to their shoulders to feed.  They also eat underwater plants by submerging their heads to reach the root and stems. WHen lakes and marshes freeze over in winter, moose feed over in winter, moose feed on berries, twigs, and branches., They also strip bark from trees and paw though snow to reach vegetation.

Related Species: American moose and Eurasian elk form a single genus and species with no close relatives. Still, there are 40 species of deer (family Cervidae) worldwide.

Key Facts: Sizes, Weight, breeding, lifestyle, related Species
Length:  8 10 ft
Height: To shoulder, 5 - 7 ft
Weight: 800 - 2000 lb. Size varies according to sex. Female smaller than male.

Sexual maturity: 16 - 18 months
Mating Season: September to October
Gestation: 240 - 250 days
No of young: First time mothers usually 1, older females 2

Habit: Solitary or in small groups.
Diet: Leaves, branches and twigs, and water and marsh plants.
Life span: Up to 20 years. Average 10 -15 years.

Distribution: Northern North America, including Alaska, Canada, Maine. The slightly smaller Eurasian elk is found in Scandinavia, northeaster Europe, and parts of northern Asia.
Conservation: Extremely abundant in some areas, although populations change depending on severity of winter. Of the 150,000 moose in Alaska, 10,000 are killed annually by hunters. Maine must keep the moose in check or they would starve in the winter so a certain number of moose are killed..

Did you know:
During breeding season hunters often imitate the females moose's call to attract males.
Bulls have been know to attack trains, possibly mistaking the whistle for the call of a rival bull.
Moose can trot as fast as 35 mph. They are good swimmers and can remain underwater for up to a minute.
Moose are bred in the Soviet Union for food and to work on farms.
A moose becomes helpless in very deep snow and can be overtaken by hunter on snowshoes.
Moose will charge the headlights of on coming cars. As they feel they are threaten.

Features of the Moose:
Males: are taller and heavier than females.
Males have widely spread antlers.
Both sexes have very long legs.
Broad muzzle and overhanging top lid.
Large ear: Extra flap of skin as long as two feet, hangs beneath its chin

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