Moose Pictures . . . Silhouettes . . . "Monarch of the Forest"
Moose Pictures and Silhouettes . . . Monarch of the Forest!
Are you someone who has always looked upon the moose as a clumsy, awkward, funny looking, if not right down ugly animal?
Maybe a few moose facts will help to surmount the apparent lack of a handsome face, and the awkward look that follows this massive animal. Moose pictures may not in and of themselves tell the whole story.
Moose are generally associated with northern forests in North America, Europe, and Russia. These forest-loving animals, prefer home with thick timber and numerous lakes and swamps.
Moose are well-suited to, and at there best in the water. Despite their staggering bulk, they are very strong swimmers, and have been known to dive underwater to depths of 13 feet in search of aquatic plants from the bottom.
They are primarily cud chewing vegetation browsers. Winter is a time of hunger for the moose. Their winter diet is needle bearing trees, hardwood bark, pinecones, buds, twigs, and branches, while in summer they feed on the leaves of trees and shrubs, on aquatic plants, forest grasses, and diverse herbs. They are strictly vegetarian, and often seek out the young saplings, and tender bark, but are able to adjust to a vast variety of available forage.
Deer, elk, and even rabbits and beaver contend with the moose for food. An adult in winter eats 22 to 30 lbs of food a day, and more than 66 lbs a day during the summer and spring seasons.
During the summer months, bulls spend about 25% of their energy growing antlers. In preparation for winter a moose will increase body weight by about twenty-five percent. As winter draws close, moose grow a thicker coat.
If you look at moose pictures while looking at elk pictures, you will see that moose are the largest of all the deer species, and one of the largest mammals in North America. Bull moose grow to over 9 feet long, six feet tall at the withers, with typical weights well over 1,000 pounds.
Bull moose have a dark brown to black muzzle, while the cow moose's face is light brown. During the winter they turn a grayish color, helping to camouflage them in the snowy expanse.
Males produce heavy grunting sounds that can be heard from up to 1000 feet away, while females produce high pitched sounds. Most moose make periodic movements for calving, rutting, and wintering, and are most active from dusk to midnight, and again around sunrise.
Moose pictures are more typically of the bull moose. They are distinguished by the “palmate” (flattened like a hand) antlers of the males. They initially have a soft fuzzy skin called "velvet," which is shed once the antlers become fully developed. This velvet has nutrient rich blood vessels in it that help the antlers grow.
Moose antlers take three to five months to fully grow. They may grow as much as three-quarters of an inch per day, making them one of the fastest growing animal organs. By late summer when the antlers reach full size, the nutrient rich blood supply dries up and the velvet begins to drop off.
After the antlers are completely developed, they are solid bone, and may weigh as much as 50 pounds, and have perhaps more than 30 points. These antlers can eventually span more than 6 feet.
Antlers from mature bulls are dropped after the mating season as early as November, but mostly in December and January, and as late as April. This helps the bulls to conserve energy for the long winter. They are regrown each spring. Typically the next rack being larger than the previous rack.
Antlers are a sign of male fitness and health, and are primarily used to demonstrate mating supremacy. If a bull moose is unsexed, either by accident or chemically, he will rapidly shed his current set of antlers and then straightaway begin to grow a new set of malformed, or deformed antlers that he will wear the rest of his life, never shedding again. So if you see a bull moose picture with such antlers, you will know why they are deformed.
The biggest reason you don't see many cow moose pictures is . . . No Antlers. So much for the obvious, no antlers, no cow moose pictures, or at least fewer of them.
Cow moose are about 25 percent smaller than the bulls, and they appear even more bony and clumsy. Cows give birth to one or two calves in the spring. New mothers typically birth only one calf. Three calves, or triplets are not common.
Cow moose will often adopt motherless calves, and thus the reason for occasionally seeing moose pictures with more than one or two calves.
Newborn calves have a reddish brown coat, with no spots. This coat will darken with age. Calves are born any time from the middle of May to early June weighing 20-25 pounds after a gestation period of about 8 months.
A newborn calf will start tasting different foods within a few weeks of their birth, and by early August they eat large amounts of vegitation. Moose calves can stand in a day, and swim within a couple of weeks. These calves grow rapidly and can outrun a person by the time they are five days old.
A bull calf may develop button antlers during its first year. By late summer or early fall the antlers are fully developed and are hard and bony. Year old bulls usually have spike antlers, and the antlers of two year olds are bigger and usually flat at the ends.
Calves are weaned after about six months and stay with their mother for the first year of their life, or until her next young are born. Shortly before the mother cow gives birth again, she will drive her yearling calf away.
Cow moose have been known to live for as long as 20 years, however bull moose generally don't live longer than 15 years.
In spite of the “not very handsome” reputation they have, and probably deservedly so, there is a certain intrique that follows this “Monarch of the Forest”.
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