Have you ever heard of a deer that spends most of its time in the water? And also grazes underwater? Well, we have an animal here today from the deer family that will surprise you in many different ways. Today, let us learn about moose.
When you think of an animal from the deer family, slender animals that move in herds and feed on land will probably come to your mind. But that is not the case with moose. Massive in size and solitary time lovers, we have 11 amazing moose facts for kids that will definitely surprise your little one.
11 Most Interesting & Fun Facts about Moose for Kids
Moose are immediately recognizable by their huge stature, antlers and the face which kind of droops downwards due to the lack of the upper front teeth. Moose are one of those animals which look peaceful but can be highly territorial.
With that introduction out of the way, let us take a look at the various interesting facts about moose.
1. Moose are HUGE in size
Moose belong to the deer family and are the largest members of the same. They are massive in size and can be quite intimidating to look at with their massive antlers and posture.
The species of moose found in Glacier is called Shiras moose and they weigh 600 to 900 pounds. Depending on where they are found, moose can weigh as much as 1600 pounds! Additionally, they can store 100 pounds of food in their stomachs!
2. They shed their antlers every year
Contrary to popular belief, the antlers of moose are not attached to their skull and grow independently. This means that the process of shedding antlers is thought to be painless.
Male -moose annually shed their antlers. The antlers will fall off one by one in a few days. Sometimes, the animals also speed up the process while rubbing the antlers on trees. This usually happens during winter as shedding gets rid of 60 pounds from their body, and they can store more energy.
3. They are good swimmers right from birth
Right from their births, moose are great swimmers. They even continue to be awesome swimmers well into adulthood.
In fact, they can swim at 6 miles per hour and love staying underwater, especially during hotter months. They can close their nostrils underwater and hence can remain underwater for a longer period of time.
4. They even graze underwater
Can you imagine deer grazing underwater? I know I cannot. But the biggest members of the deer family have something up their sleeves to surprise you.
Moose are known to graze underwater as well. The closing of their nostrils (as mentioned in the previous fact) allows them to do the same.
Additionally, moose also do not have any upper front teeth. This allows them to suck in any marine plants when they are grazing underwater.
5. Spending more time in the water makes the moose prolong their lives
Moose do not just love swimming and hence spend significant time underwater. In fact, spending time underwater helps them deal with certain health issues and prolong their life.
Being in the water all day can take off stress from their bones and joints; kind of like the water aerobics effect. This reduces the chances of developing osteoporosis and arthritis! Being in the water also makes it difficult for any predators like lions or wolves to sneak upon them.
6. Snails can pose one of the biggest threats to moose
I know what you must be thinking. How can a small creature like a snail be of threat to the biggest member of the deer family? Well, as a matter of fact, they are.
Some snails carry a certain parasite called a brain worm. These parasites enter the moose when they accidentally ingest small snails. The neurological damage can be fatal to the moose. What is surprising is that these parasites do not affect any other members of the deer family.
7. Moose prefer living in the colder areas
Moose generally prefer living in colder areas, especially in areas with seasonal snow cover. This is because; they cannot tolerate temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit. These animals do not sweat and hence, have less ways to reduce heat produced in the body.
Additionally, these animals have a digestive system which causes fermentation and releases a lot of heat.
8. Although peaceful animals, the males can be territorial
Moose are known to be peaceful animals but during the breeding season, males can become very aggressive. By nature, they are also very territorial.
Hence, it is better not to have contact with them as they might take it as a challenge to their dominance and they will invite you for a fight.
9. They make all sorts of noises
Moose are known to make all sorts of noises possible. Males make sounds from bellows to croaks and barks. Females make long sounds which end with a cough-like sound.
Additionally, they also grunt in order to communicate with their younger ones (calves) and they also snort in case they are feeling agitated.
10. Twin births are pretty common among moose
Usually, in nature, the smaller the animal, the more babies at birth and the larger they are, the less number of babies. Look at cats and cows for example; it is usual to see more number of kittens born together but when it comes to cows, it is usually just one calf.
But that is not the case for moose even though they are massive in size. In fact, twin births are really common among them, if not triplets!
11. They can move each eye independently and are near-sighted
Moose are capable of moving each of their eyes independently of the other one. Additionally, they are extremely nearsighted.
This means that they are able to spot nutrient rich vegetation on the bottom of the pond when they are near but are unable to see across a greater distance.
Different Types of Moose
Moose can be broadly categorized into 5 groups based on where they are from. There is not much difference between the species of the moose but we have listed the different ones here-
- Alaskan Moose: These are the biggest subspecies of moose in the world with males growing 6 feet. They are black-brown in colour with paler legs.
- Northwestern Moose: They are probably the second-largest species and their range is a lot more than the Alaskan moose. They are also known as Western moose.
- Eastern Moose: As one can understand from the name, these moose can be found on the eastern side of America and are mahogany brown in color.
- Shiras Moose: These are the smallest species of moose in North America and are greyish-brown in colour.
- Eurasian Moose: Although there is certain confusion as to whether these are a separate animals or subspecies of moose. They are also known as elk in Europe.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Yes, moose belongs to the deer family and are the largest member of the same.
A group of moose is called a herd.
A baby moose is called a calf.
Moose are herbivores and feed on twigs, barks, and leaves from trees.
No, moose do not eat fish.
An adult moose eats about 50 to 60 pounds a day.
Moose eat twigs from deciduous trees, shrubs, and needles of balsam fir and cedar.
No, moose are solitary animals and do not travel in herds.
An adult moose can be 6 feet tall.
An adult moose can weigh anywhere between 800 to 1600 pounds.
Moose will be found near forests and streams where they can get their food.
Moose will live 15 to 25 years in the wild.
Yes, some moose do live in the Arctic Tundra.
Moose can survive in the winter because their fur acts as an insulator and traps air, providing them with warmth.
Moose are most active during the season of autumn, during the days.
Usually, female moose do not grow antlers but there have been rare cases where, due to hormonal imbalance, females sprouted antlers.
Moose antlers are called palmates.
Yes, moose lose their antlers annually around November.
Yes, moose shed their antlers every year.
Antlers are the fastest growing tissue in the moose’s body and they can grow back in a few months.
Moose can run at a speed of 35 miles per hour.
Yes, moose can swim at a speed of 6 miles per hour.
No, moose cannot run on water. However, when run in shallow water, it appears to be running on water.
Yes, moose do have short tails.
Mountain lions and wolves are usually the predators of moose.
Yes, there have been incidents where orcas have been seen killing and eating moose.
That was it, folks! Hopefully, you had a great time learning about these big members of the deer family. You have managed to reach the end of the article, ’11 Amazing Moose Facts for Kids’. Moose are quite big and their habit of grazing both on land and water makes them really unique.