Moose are a unique species within the deer family. They are the largest, males weighing up to almost a ton, and they are solitary animals, not traveling in herds like their cousins. Typically, moose are easy-going creatures, though fighting can occur during mating season, when males are competing for females. Their antlers actually function as a means to increase their hearing, capturing and channeling sound, and after mating season a male will typically shed his antlers as a means to preserve energy. The antlers will grow back within 4-6 months.
The diet of a moose is vegetarian, typically eating up to fifty pounds of plants every day, gaining much of their energy from flowering plants. Different plants offer different types of nutrients and the moose can intuit what is needed. For example, some plants are low in sodium so the moose will make up for it by consuming a hefty amount of aquatic plants (typically higher in sodium).
A moose can run up to 35 mph. Surprisingly, given their size and skinny legs, moose can swim at around 6 mph, which is impressive, when you consider the tools they have to make it across water. Additionally, they can be submerged in water for up to thirty seconds.
This can be helpful when searching for those sodium-rich aquatic plants. Moose have been hunted since the stone age, and evidence from around 6000 BC is proof that they were hunted in a lot of northern Europe. Population of the moose in North America is about 800,000 – 1.2 million. Despite active hunting of the moose, upwards of 90,000 taken regularly, they continue to remain well-populated. Other than man, their only other predators are bears and wolves. Interesting enough, a moose can be paralyzed by a good blow to the nose. This is an active way wolves tend to take down the enormous creature.
Source: Live Science
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