Adaptable Moose

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© Mark Emery

The Moose – a member of the deer family that exists solely in the Northern Hemisphere – is an unpredictable animal that has adapted to harsh weather, expanding cities and food shortages from Asia to the Americas to Europe. But what characteristics help them survive the toughest conditions?

Moose have sensitive ears which constantly swivel to pick up the softest sounds. They can weigh almost a ton at maturity, grow to eight feet in height and run up to 35 miles per hour.

When young, their velvety antlers are highly sensitive, but harden as they grow – sometimes as fast as three inches per week – into some of the largest headgear on the planet.

One of the most fascinating characteristics of a Moose is their nostrils. As Moose often head to water to uproot aquatic plants, their nostrils act as a valve to keep water from their breathing passageways. Moose can pull up plants in 18 feet of water and even hold their breath for up to a minute.

Moose crossing roads pose a serious hazard – their massive body and long legs can cause a serious, fatal vehicle accident. Some experts estimate that there are over 10,000 moose collisions around the world each year.

And while a Moose might appear gentle, they are unpredictable animals that can trample or kill people that startle or tease them.

Learn more about this fascinating species on Moose: Titans of the North, Thursday January 13th at 10pm et/pt on Nat Geo Wild!

Video Preview: “Suburban Moose Massacre” — Even in a quiet suburb, moose in Anchorage can still fall prey to tragic grizzly attacks, their calves struck down by strong paws.