Moose

Jeff Foott/DCI |

Moose, known in Europe as elk, are the largest members of the deer family; they also have the largest antlers.

Found only on males, these palmate antlers may measure as much as six feet (2 m) across and weigh up to seventy pounds (32 kg).

They are shed and regrown annually.

The males use their antlers to fight each other during rutting season.

The moose is rarely gregarious, except when a harem forms during mating season.

A ruminant with a four-chambered stomach, the moose feeds on leaves, twigs, and young shoots of trees, as well as aquatic plants.

Animal Facts

Name: Moose (Alces alces)

Family: Cervidae (Deer and Relatives)

Range: Northern North America, Europe, and Asia

Habitat: Coniferous forests around marshes and bogs

Diet: Twigs, bark, roots, shoots, aquatic plants, and conifers

Head and Body Length: 8 to 10 feet (2.4 to 3.1 m)

Tail Length: 2 to 6 inches (5 to 15 cm)

Shoulder Height: 5 to 8 feet (1.4 to 2.4 m)

Weight: 730 to 1,810 pounds (330 to 820 kg)

Life Cycle: Mating August to October; gestation 230 to 260 days, usually one calf born

Description: Brownish-gray coat; broad muzzle; furred dewlap; males have massive, palm-shaped antlers; pale, long legs; wide hooves

Conservation Status: Common