Moose are well-known for their antlers and size, but there are many lesser-known facts that are equally fascinating. For instance, moose can swim for several miles at a time, shed their antlers annually, and often gather in herds consisting of dominant males, females, and their young. They rely on their extraordinary sense of hearing, can run at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour, and have a specialized digestive system that helps them digest even the toughest plant fibers. Moose are not true social animals as they have unique social hierarchies, and they prefer to supplement their diets with naturally-occurring salt licks.
10 Surprising Facts About Moose You Didn’t Know Existed
Moose are majestic creatures and a common sight in the northern hemisphere, particularly in areas with a lot of coniferous forest. These creatures are famous for their antlers and size, but there’s a lot more to them than meets the eye. There are numerous lesser-known facts about these creatures that will leave you awestruck. In this article, we’re going to explore 10 mind-blowing facts about moose that you didn’t know existed.
Fact #1: Moose Can Swim For Miles
Moose are capable swimmers and can swim for several miles at a time. During the summer months, moose swim across lakes and rivers to reach more favorable grazing grounds. It’s not uncommon for moose to swim over 6 miles at a time- they’re truly capable of extreme endurance.
Fact #2: Moose Antlers Shed Annually
Moose antlers grow every season and can reach lengths of up to 6 feet. Each autumn, they fall off and regrow the following spring. This seasonal shedding process happens in males only since females lack antlers.
Fact #3: A Group of Moose is Called a Herd
Moose often gather in groups of up to 16 individuals. These groups consist of a dominant male, females, and their young ones. Known as a herd, these groups are often seen grazing and traveling together. Moose are social animals and survive better when living together as a community.
Fact #4: Moose Have An Incredible Sense of Hearing
Moose have an extraordinary sense of hearing and rely heavily on their hearing capabilities. They can detect sounds that are over a mile away, and because of the structure and shape of their ears, they can pinpoint the sound’s direction.
Fact #5: Moose Can Run At Speeds Of Up To 35 Miles Per Hour
Moose seem big and bulky; they’re not as slow as you might imagine. In fact, these creatures are fast runners that can reach top speeds of up to 35 miles per hour. This speed is handy in helping them outrun predators like bears and wolves.
Fact #6: Moose Have a Special Digestive System
Moose are ruminant animals, their stomachs use bacteria and other microorganisms to break down the cellulose in the plants they eat. Due to this specialized digestive system, they can digest even the toughest plant fibers, making it possible for them to thrive in locations where other animals may struggle to find food.
Fact #7: Moose Are Not Social Creatures
Despite their herd disposition, moose are not social animals by nature. They have a unique social hierarchy, with the dominant male ruling over the females, and females fiercely protecting their young ones.
Fact #8: Moose Rarely Fight to Death
Moose often engage in ferocious fights with other males, but these fights rarely end in death. Instead, they grapple, charge, and push each other before the weaker one concedes defeat and flees.
Fact #9: Moose are Excellent Swimmers
Moose are strong swimmers, and their long legs help them stay afloat. Also, Because their eyes are on the sides of their heads, they can even see while swimming. Therefore, moose can travel long distances and cross large bodies of water with ease.
Fact #10: Moose Prefer Salt Licks
Moose need salt in their diets, but they don’t usually get enough from their regular diet. Therefore, they often go to salt licks that occur naturally in the wilderness to supplement their meals.
Q1. Can Moose Charge at People?
A1. Yes, moose have been known to charge at people when they feel threatened, especially during the breeding season as males are very territorial.
Q2. Where Do Moose Live?
A2. Moose are native to the northern hemisphere and can be found living in forests, mountainous regions, and tundra habitats worldwide.
Q3. How Long Do Moose Live?
A3. Moose can live up to 20 years in the wild, depending on environmental factors and the availability of food.
Moose are magnificent animals with unique characteristics that differentiate them from their fellow animals. From their love for salt licks to their expert swimming skills, there are many exciting facts about moose that we’re only just beginning to discover. Next time you’re out in a forest or near a river, keep your eyes peeled for North America’s largest deer species.