Researchers have discovered some surprising habits of moose in the wild. During the summer months, the majestic animals feed primarily on leaves, twigs and buds, but in winter, they actively seek out white birch trees and their bark for food – and have a special preference for damaged trees. Scientists have observed that moose have a particular affinity for road salt and have seen them frequently licking salt from roadsides and even sneaking into cars to get their fix. Moose use their antlers as a means of communication and there are six subspecies of moose found around the world.
Scientists Discover Surprising Habits of Moose in the Wild
Moose, the majestic animals that are common in the boreal forests of North America and Eurasia, are notorious for their size and impressive antlers. However, scientists have recently discovered some surprising habits of these elusive creatures in the wild.
1. The Surprise of Moose Diet:
Moose are known to be herbivores, feeding primarily on leaves, twigs, and buds during the summer months. But during the winter season, they turn to their favorite food – the bark of white birch trees. What’s surprising is that moose have a particular preference for white birch trees that have been damaged, likely due to the trees’ sap leaking out, making the bark sweeter.
2. The Importance of Salt for Moose:
Just like humans, moose require sufficient salt intake for their well-being. However, the salt they need can be challenging to find in the wild. Scientists have recently observed that moose have a particular affinity for road salt. They have been seen frequently licking salt from roadsides and even sneaking into cars to get their fix.
3. Moose Use Their Antlers to Communicate:
Moose use their antlers not just for show but also as a means of communication. During the breeding season, males use their antlers to establish dominance over other males by clashing them together. Females also use their body language and antlers to communicate with other individuals in their herd.
4. Can Moose Swim?
Yes, moose can swim. Although not commonly known, they are excellent swimmers, and they are even known to dive to the bottom of ponds to feed on plants found there.
5. The Surprising Diversity of Moose:
Contrary to popular belief, there are actually six subspecies of moose found around the world. These subspecies can be distinguished by their size, antler shape, and body color.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is the size of an average moose?
The average moose can grow up to 6-7 feet tall at the shoulder, and males can weigh up to 1,500 pounds.
2. What do moose eat?
During the summer months, moose feed on leaves, twigs, and buds. During the winter, they actively seek out white birch trees and their bark for food.
3. Are moose dangerous?
Yes, moose can be dangerous if they feel threatened or if their calves are in danger. It’s essential to give moose plenty of space if you encounter them in the wild.
4. Do moose have any natural predators?
Wolves are the primary predator of moose in North America. However, brown bears also sometimes prey on young moose.
5. Can moose run fast?
Yes, moose can run up to 35 miles per hour. However, they prefer to stroll, so running is a last resort for them.
In conclusion, despite their massive size and impressive antlers, moose are creatures with surprising habits that scientists are still uncovering. From their unusual dietary preferences to their need for salt, moose continue to fascinate us and remind us of the vast diversity of wildlife that surrounds us.