Why You Should Never Race a Moose
by Haliah Berkowitz, age 10
Did you know that moose can run very fast even for their huge size? Moose are the biggest animals in the deer family. On average, they weigh almost 2,000 pounds. Despite their huge size, they are extremely fast, both on land and in water. They can run up to 35 miles per hour or swim up to 10 miles without stopping. In fact, a five day old calf can outrun a grown human.
Given their size, adult male moose don’t have many predators. Animals like bears, wolves and cougars like to prey on moose calves instead. The biggest threat to adult male moose is getting struck by a car.
When it comes to the living conditions for moose, they tend to inhabit cold snowy areas. Their hooves are wide and allow them to walk on the snow with ease. During warmer temperatures, moose like to spend their time in the water to keep cool.
Moose are herbivores that primarily consume things such as leaves, stems, twigs and the bark of small shrubs. Adult moose can eat as much as 70 pounds of food a day.
In addition to their intimidating size and large diet, moose have incredible antlers. Male moose antlers reach up to six feet from tip to tip. Male moose grow their antlers in the beginning of spring and use them to fight other moose for mates. When mating season ends in the fall, male moose shed their antlers and isolate until the next mating season. Female moose do not grow antlers and only give birth to one or two calves a year. Calves will stay with their mothers for approximately a year until they too leave for the next mating season.
[Source: National Geographic]