Genus and Species — Alces alces
~Kingdom: Animalia ~ Phylum: Chordata ~ Sub-Phylum: Vertebrata
~Class: Mammalia ~ Sub-Class: Theria ~ Order: Artiodactyla
~Family: Cervidae ~ Sub-Family: Odocoilinae
Common Name: MOOSE
Plural Name: MOOSE
Moose are the largest of all living deer
Male Known As The Bull Moose
Female Known As The Cow Moose
Length: 8-10 feet
Height: to shoulder, 5-7 feet
Weight: 800-1500 lb.
Female smaller than male
The largest bull moose ever taken in NH weighed in at 1040 pounds, dressed weight.
Live weight of this moose would have been approximately 1400 lbs
The largest cow dressed at 815 lbs.
Moose have teeth which are specially designed for eating plant materials and
for browsing on bushes and small trees.
In all, they have 32 teeth made up of 12 ridged molars, 12 premolars,
6 incisors and 2 canines.
Incisors are the front teeth. Like other members of the deer family,
moose only have lower incisors, and do not have upper incisors
(though they have both upper and lower molars).
As moose get older, their teeth get worn out.
Worn out teeth lead to reduced food intake, and reduced physical condition.
Sexual maturity: 16-28 months
Rut (Mating season): September to October
Gestation: 240-250 days
Number of young: 1 or 2
Habitat: Solitary or in small groups
Diet: Leaves, branches and twigs, water and marsh plants.
Moose may consume 45 pounds of food per day.
Lifespan: Up to 20 years. Average 10-15 years
Moose can trot as fast as 35 miles an hour.
They are good swimmers and can remain underwater for up to a minute.
Moose are ruminants, and spend much of their life chewing cud.
Ruminant: meaning their stomach is divided into four discrete chambers, which are concerned with particular, sequential aspects of digestion of the fibrous plant biomass these animals feed upon. Moose ruminate, meaning they regurgitate and rechew forage that has spent some time fermenting in one of the four-chambers of the stomach.
Bull Moose shed their antlers each winter and grow a new set each spring.
Cows do not grow antlers. The Reindeer/Caribou is the only deer species in
which both the male and female have antlers!
The greatest antler spread of a bull taken in NH is 68 inches
HOW ANTLERS GROW
Both white-tailed deer and moose grow new antlers every summer and
then shed them after the breeding season.
Here's the general timetable for antler growth:
Increasing hours of daylight cause the pituitary gland to give the signal to start
antler growth. Actual growth starts in April and May.
May to late July
Blood transports calcium, phosphorus, proteins and other materials from which
the antlers are made. The soft skin and short hair covering each antler have a
plush-like quality, giving this stage the name "velvet."
Antlers reach full size. The male hormone testosterone is being produced in
increasing amounts and initiates the shedding of the velvet. The blood supply dries
up and the velvet dries and begins peeling.
Time of prime condition. Velvet is rubbed off against trees and shrubs, leaving the lifeless, bony core of the antler. This hardens and is polished by continual rubbing.
Peak of the breeding season, when bucks spar, or fight with each other.
Toward the end of the breeding season, the antlers become loosened around the base. The shedding of antlers is related to a decrease of testosterone. Shed antlers fall
to the ground and are gnawed by rodents, rabbits and hares for the
minerals and protein they contain.
MOOSE ON THE LOOSE ~ DRIVERS BEWARE
The Origin of the word "MOOSE" is thought to be from "mus" or "moos" of the Algonquian
(North American Indian) family of languages
thought to mean "eater of twigs."
Moose Scoops Ice Cream
To avoid a moose collision:
* Drive below the speed limit -- especially at dusk and dawn and
especially in moose-heavy areas;
* Use high beams when possible;
* Be able to stop within the zone of your headlights;
*Scan the sides of the roads as you drive.
There have been thousands of collisions with moose in New Hampshire throughout
the years, according to biologists and law enforcement authorities.
New Hampshire has an estimated population of 3,000 to 5,000 moose.