Exploring my little piece of the planet

Posts tagged “alces alces


Alces alces ssp andersoni

According to Wikipedia there are 6 subspecies of Moose – four in North America – and the one that I see quite commonly, (but haven’t yet managed to get a really good photo of), is the Western subspecies or spp. andersoni. Its common name comes from the Algonquin ‘Moz’, meaning ‘twig eater’, (source), an appropriate handle given the moose’s diet mainly consists of the young wood of deciduous trees.

The ears of this cow moose are both directed toward the photographer as she keenly surveys me with one eye while assessing her escape route with the other. This image also shows the distinct light patch around the vulva of the female as well as the lighter hair on the legs that is common in both sexes.

Moose are fascinating creatures. They have exceptional hearing and sense of smell although their eyesight is apparently rather poor. They have very large and oddly shaped heads and the bull’s spatulate antlers are like no other. All for a purpose though. They even walk funny – lifting their legs vertically, but that serves them well when navigating through metre-deep snow, significantly reducing drag and giving them a good advantage over one of their few adversaries: the wolf. (Source)

Possibly a yearling judging by her very light coat, this young cow moose paces back and forth excitedly when she finds herself trapped behind a fence.

The moose is the largest living deer in the world and after bison, are the second largest land-mammal in North America. According to moose biologist, Kristine Rines, the largest bull on record was an Alaskan Bull that weighed in at 1,697 lbs. or about 637 kgs., but it my understanding the average weight would be just over half of that.

Post-processing couldn’t save this snap of a large bull moose, hurriedly taken from my car at dusk. If you use your imagination a little, you can just make out the distinctive palmate antlers and under-throat bell.

The poor old moose has been a popular target for lampooning. When I was a kid, Saturday morning cartoons weren’t complete without Bullwinkle.