Moose

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Moose are the largest member of the deer family.  They often weigh close to 2,000 pounds, and stand over 7′ tall at the shoulders.

Moose are completely vegetarian.  They eat leaves, grasses, and low-lying shrubs.  But what allows them to achieve such a mammoth size is the addition of aquatic plants and reeds to their diet.  Plants that grow in mashes and rivers have more minerals than ones on land.  Moose have also adapted to swamp environments.  They have skin flaps in their nostrils and ears that keep water out.  They also have skin flaps between their hooves that allow them to swim faster and dive deeper.  They can hold their breaths for up to 5 minutes so they can browse on aquatic plants.

moose 2Moose calves are born in spring.  Generally, a cow moose will have two calves at a time.  They stay with their mothers for over a year.  Although cow moose are very protective of their young, only half of all cubs born survive to adulthood.  This is due to predation from grizzlies and wolves.

Moose may look docile, but they are not at all.  Bull moose in the rut are highly aggressive, and often attack people.  But cow moose are the most aggressive.  When they have their calves in the area, maternal instincts kick in, and they do not stop their attack until the predator is dead or seriously injured. Each moose has for deadly hooves that they can attack with, and bull moose have antlers that can gore an assailant.