Being the largest animal of the deer family, the moose cannot be appreciated for his size until seen up close, real close. This creature can weigh up to 1,500 lb and eat 10% of his weight in a day. Up to 10 feet long and 7 feet tall, the moose is the second biggest land animal in North America.
With a head that sort of resembles a narrow horse’s, the moose males, known as “bulls”, grow two antlers right above their eyes. These antlers are often called “paddles” by those who hunt for them. These paddles can be, on average, 2-4 feet long and are used by the bulls to fight for mating rights.
The antlers themselves are formed in early spring. They start off with a bit of cartilage off the top of the head called a pedicle. This cartilage is then replaced by bony tissue and covered in a thing called “velvet”. This velvet covers the bone and supplies the bone with blood, nutrients and oxygen.
By winter, the velvet is rubbed off and the antlers are done growing. They then die off and fall in later winter. Their antlers are collected and sold widely to people with many different interests in using them for furniture, decorations, etc.
The moose will use these antlers to impress females and fight off other bulls for the attention of the female moose (known as “cows”).
Although the moose may look like a docile creature, it has one of the most aggressive records in the world. In the USA, the moose is the number one wild animal that inflicts injury on humans. The bear and the wolf combined don’t even reach this record!
In the entire world, only the hippopotamus hurts more people than the moose. Not a very docile creature at all and not one to be taken lightly. But, this aggressiveness works out for the best (for them at least) for they have been known to fend off attacking bears and wolves, and trampling them both to the ground.
With his massive antlers, aggressive nature (and protective one), the moose can comfortably be called the “king of the woods”. I’d like to see the “king of the jungle” take on this guy!