I started watching the show Alone on Netflix recently and I saw a swimming moose, and I was surprised thinking about how the moose was just chugging along, swimming, and started looking up moose... and now I am obsessed with moose.
This is not a blog about coding.
This is a blog about moose.
The state animal of Maine.
I don't have a blog on non-development platforms, so this is where it will live.
It's time for moose facts.
The average female (often called a cow) weighs 771lbs and the average male (often called a bull) weighs 881lbs, and they can get up to 1800lbs.
A bull moose's antlers can spread up to 6 feet from end to end, and they shed their antlers every year. Just giant stick things on their head, gone. Wow. The antlers also weigh like 35lbs. Huge.
Moose eat all kinds of vegetation and require around 10,000 calories per day. They eat about 30lbs daily in the winter and 70lbs in the summer. That's so many plants. In the Algonquin language, moose means "eater of twigs" and it's a pretty apt name. They eat more food than black bears! Also, they don't have upper front teeth. I just picture them inhaling plants and going "om num nom num" very loudly. Say that out loud right now in a low voice so you can get a visual.
Moose are a part of the deer family, and they are the largest of all the deer species. They're also the tallest mammal in North America. That's huge. Look at these moose fighting. Look at them compared to the cars. Holy crap.
A moose can dive 20 feet underwater and stay down there for a minute. READ THAT AGAIN. They just go down underwater (they can physically close their nostrils??) and eat the vegetation at the bottom of the body of water. These GIANT CREATURES just act like they're hungry fish.
They dive so much that orcas, as in, literal killer whales, are a regular predator of moose. You know in that classic Drew Barrymore movie Ever After where she's like, "a bird may love a fish, but where would they live?" I am now doing my own variation: "a moose may love a whale, but where will they live? In the whale's stomach."
Moose swim a lot more than I thought in general. They can swim up to 6mph and are born knowing how to swim. Who knew? Not me. They hang out in the water to ease the pressure on their bones (because, again, they're huge), to cool off, and to avoid predators sneaking up on them. Except whales, of course.
Moose are very solitary animals, and don't travel in packs. They're just shy. They meet up for mating season, but that's about it. Calves will follow their mothers for about a year and then go off on their own. I think that's a big reason why you don't really see them in zoos, they probably wouldn't do well there given their size and temperament.
They do live for up to 25 years though, and prefer cold climates. Lots of time for contemplation and (literally) chilling. Their hair is hollow and gets darker over time, so you can tell how old a moose is by how dark its hair is, kinda.
Okay a moose probably won't fight you just because. They're mostly peaceful except during mating season where the bull moose try to assert dominance with their antlers. If you see a moose, a bull moose will take any movement towards them as aggression, and a mama moose will immediately try to fight you if she thinks you're threatening her young. Just get out of their line of sight and you should be pretty good. Their eyesight isn't that great in general, and they have blind spots like horses do because their eyes are on the sides of their heads.
THAT BEING SAID:
A moose can outrun a person by the time they're 5 days old. When a human is 5 days old, they just sit there not knowing how to do anything. We are inferior beings.
When they're more than 5 days old, they get even faster, and can travel up to 35mph. Imagine a 1500lb monster running at you at that speed. They'd be like "you're like a deer in the headlights, hahaha, except UNO REVERSE, SUCKER."
And you might be thinking, "oh, I just have to avoid the antlers," but no, it's the HOOVES. They can kick their front legs in ANY direction. When they're about to fight they lick their lips and bend their ears back. I just imagine a moose charging with legs like helicopters as they lick their lips and chase me.* I'm a goner. The moose has won.
*it is unlikely that a moose fights this way, but one cannot be too safe
Just kidding, one more fun fact: in Latin, the word for elk is "alces" and thus the scientific name is alces alces, or elk elk. Moose are elk elk.
Thank you for your time.
I will not be sharing my sources because there are too many. You can google all of this. There's also comics.
Goodbye, elk elks.