10 Moose Facts That Will Impress You

moose factsMoose are big, neat animals that live in the Rocky Mountains and many other areas of the United States and Canada.  Read these 10 cool moose facts that are sure to amaze and impress you.

The Rocky Mountains are full of various animals, from the large moose to the small pika.  I have been lucky to see moose many times on hikes and while camping and am impressed every time.  I’ll never forget the first time I saw one.   Some friends and I were startled by one outside of Bozeman, Montana because all we saw was a big, brown shape in the bushes.  These animals are amazing and here are some fun moose facts to amaze and impress you.

10 Cool Moose Facts

moose facts

Photo via Flickr.

Antlers are heavy – antlers, also called paddles, are very heavy on older animals (5-7 years old).  They can weigh as much as 40 pounds!

Antlers are used for…they are designed such that they can hear high frequency sounds made by females during the breeding time of year.  Also, surprisingly the antlers are not used for defense primarily but are mainly used during mating season.  Males will fight each other with their antlers to see who will win the female or the better territory.

moose facts

Photo via Flickr.

Eat a lot – since they are large animals they have to eat a lot of food to keep their size.  They are herbivores, meaning they will eat only grasses, leaves, and such.  In the summer they will eat up to 73 pounds of food a day and in winter up to 30 pounds a day.

Hooves for defense – when attacked a moose will use its sharp hooves to kick at its attackers and defend itself.

They Have Bells – they have a flap of skin that hangs beneath their throat that is called a bell.

They are big – they are the largest of all the animals in the deer family and among the largest in North America.  The only animals that are weigh as much include the bison, grizzly bear, and polar bear.  They can weigh up to 1,800 pounds.

They are fast – they can run up to 35 mph!

They have big feet – they have big, wide feet that act as snowshoes during the winter.  These help keep them from sinking into the soft snow.  They are one of the mammals that are active during winter.

moose facts, female, calves

Female moose with babies

They are good swimmers – they are good swimmers and use their large feet to propel them through the water.  We saw this mother swim across a small creek with her two calves.  The calves seemed reluctant at first, but soon followed their mom into the water.

Caring and protective mothers – it takes about 8 months from when a female becomes pregnant until giving birth.  Females typically give birth to 1 or 2 calves.  Mothers will stay with her calves for 1-2 years until they are big enough to protect themselves.  Wolves and other predators like to hunt and catch the calves, so mom stays around to protect them.