Throughout the severe climate areas and deep forests of Alaska, lives the majestic and popular
creature - the moose. Ranging from an enormous size of 1200 to 1600 pounds for adults,
these animals are the world’s largest deer. These large creatures are also known for
creating the world’s largest antlers measuring 80 inches in spread and weighing 70
pounds. Moose antlers are covered with a "velvet" layer containing blood capillaries
thus providing nutrients to the antlers over their 10 years of growth.
The antlers begin to decline in size approaching their 11th and 12th year. Their large
and pointed antlers are more a sign of defense rather than a weapon in actual
battle. Moose typically dip their heads waving their antlers back and forth to threaten
Most moose in Alaska reside in the interior of the state occupying swamp land and river drainages. Their long dark coats protect them throughout the year. In the winter these coats protect them from the severe weather common in the north. In the summer they help shield them from the numerous swarms of mosquitoes. Their long legs allow them to travel through large bodies of snow, marsh lands, and brush.
These large and powerful animals live on all types of vegetation - leaves, branches of willow, grasses, and alders. Their life span is usually a length of 16 years or less. The moose is truly part of the great Alaska wilderness and adds much to it beautiful territory.
Text by: Big Game of Alaska (Pg. 40)
Alaska Wildlife Treasure (Pg. 153),
Alaska Mammals (Pg. 32-33)
Photo by: AK Division of Tourism
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