Description:

Alces - Latin; alce, "elk"
Moose is an Indian word meaning "eater of twigs" and tends only to be used by North Americans to describe Alces. In Europe, Alces is usually called elk.

Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Cervidae

The tall, majestic moose is between 2 and 2.5 m long, and males ( bulls) weigh between 405 and 630 kg. Moose are sexually dimorphic, and females ( cows) are smaller than bulls, weighing between 315 and 495 kg. These size ranges encompass all North American moose, but those living in the Great Lakes area tend to be smaller than the Alaskan subspecies Alces alces gigas. Bulls carry palmate antlers during the summer, fall and early winter, which they shed each February. Large muscular shoulders, make the moose appear humped. They also possess a long rostrum, and characteristic "bell" of skin known as the dewlap which dangles from their neck.

Moose eat all kinds of vegetation, but are most fond of aquatic plants. Many canoeists can attest to the fact that Alces is an excellent swimmer. They can also dive to impressive depths, and have valvular nostrils which seal upon submergence.