Alces alces

Also known as the European elk. Not to be confused with mousse. Belongs to family Cervidae, with deer. They shed their antlers yearly, have cleft hooves, and chew the cud (moose are kosher, surprisingly enough). Moose are the largest living members of Cervidae, growing to be 152 to 198 centimeters tall (five to six and a half feet). Males can weigh as much as 531 kilograms (1180 pounds), females 360 kilograms (800 pounds).

Moose are dark brown, awkward-looking animals. They have huge bodies and reedy little legs with knobby knees. Their snouts overshoot their mouths and instead of delicately branching antlers, they have massive, flattened projections that could best be described at lobes (only males have antlers). They also have funky tabs of skin which hang from their necks, like a beard that got lost on the way to the chin. Despite their gangly appearance, they're valued as trophies symbols of untouched wilderness.

Moose roam Canada and Alaska, parts of the American west, and northern Eurasia, preferring areas with lots of water, especially marshes and the edges of forests. Mating season is from September to October. Gestation is about eight months long. Usually, only a single moose is born, though twins aren't unheard of.

Moose have a definite preference for the night, but can be found up and about at any time. They can run as fast as 56 kilometers per hour (35 mph), and live to their twenties in the wild (the limit on their lifespan isn't clear). Their main predators are bears, and that old stand-by, man, though wolves also do a small business in moose hunting during the winter. Cougars and wolverines like to pick off the calves. However, as their two decade lifespan suggests, not much wants to mess with a moose.

Source: Peterson Field Guides: Mammals by Burt and Grossenheider

Moose (mOOs), n. [A native name; Knisteneaux mouswah; Algonquin monse. Mackenzie.] (Zoöl.)

A large cervine mammal (Alces machlis, or A. Americanus), native of the Northern United States and Canada. The adult male is about as large as a horse, and has very large, palmate antlers. It closely resembles the European elk, and by many zoölogists is considered the same species. See Elk.

Moose bird (Zoöl.), the Canada jay or whisky jack. See Whisky jack. --
Moose deer. Same as Moose. --
Moose yard (Zoöl.), a locality where moose, in winter, herd together in a forest to feed and for mutual protection.


© Webster 1913

Moose (?), n.

A member of the Progressive Party; a Bull Moose. [Cant]


© Webster 1913

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