15 Weird & Wonderful Moose Facts

brown deer in close up photography
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The moose is an amazing creature that roams the forests of Canada and other parts of the Northern Hemisphere. If you haven’t seen one up close or don’t know much about them—you might think they’re like deer or Santa’s reindeer. But moose are their own special kind of animal with some very interesting facts about them! Here are some weird & wonderful moose facts just for you!

Moose are huge

brown moose on brown grass during daytime
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You might have already heard that moose are big, but they’re huge! A female moose usually weighs around 771 lbs (350 kg), while a male moose can weigh about 881 lbs (400 kg). Some can even reach a whopping 1,800 lbs! They’re pretty long, too—usually measuring between just under 8 feet to nearly 10 feet. And get this—bull moose have antlers that can spread up to six feet wide from end to end!

Moose love to eat a lot

black moose under tree
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Because moose are big, they’ve got big appetites, too! During the summer, they munch on about 73 pounds of food each day, and in the winter, they gobble up around 34 pounds. They’re not picky eaters either—they’ll chow down on all sorts of stuff like shrubs, woody plants, and even plants that grow in the water. When winter rolls around, and food is scarce—they’ll even snack on plant buds to keep their bellies full.

All sorts of creatures can be a danger to moose

brown moose surrounded by snowfield
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Moose are strong and have powerful hooves that can deliver a serious kick, but they still have enemies out there. Packs of wolves or black bears usually go after the young, weak, or old moose because they’re easier targets. Even though moose are big and tough—just one bite from a predator can spell trouble. Sometimes, the bite can cause an infection that leads to the moose passing away.

Moose don’t often use their antlers to fight

black cow on lake shore during daytime
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Just like male deer, bull moose use their antlers, which are sometimes called paddles, for fighting and during mating season. If a moose is challenged, it won’t hesitate to defend itself with its sharp hooves and strong kicking ability. If it’s attacked by a group of wolves or even a human, there’s a good chance the attacker could get very hurt or even killed by the moose’s powerful hooves and strength.

Every year, moose lose and grow new antlers

brown deer on brown land near trees
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Male moose boast antlers that stretch almost 6 feet wide from end to end. Every year, they shed these antlers and grow new ones. These are more than just impressive—they symbolize dominance, especially during mating season when bulls fight over females. Some male moose even splash their antlers with urine to attract mates. And here’s a cool fact: you can tell a moose’s age by its antlers.

They prefer living in cold places

brown moose on brown grass field during daytime
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Moose thrive in chilly environments, making places like Ontario’s Sunset Country ideal home for them. They’re not big fans of hot weather; anything above 80°F (27°C) can be too much for them. On hot summer days, you might catch them chilling out in the water to beat the heat. These majestic animals aren’t just limited to North America—they also roam across Alaska and Canada.

Moose only eat plants

black moose on brown grass field during daytime
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Moose are big fans of salads—they’re herbivores, meaning they munch on plants and trees all day long. Fun fact: the name “moose” actually comes from an Algonquin word that basically means “twig eater,” according to the NPS. With their towering height—these gentle giants love to stretch up and grab a bite of twigs, bark, and leaves from the trees and shrubs around them.

Sometimes, moose can get a little feisty

brown moose
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These beloved wild animals don’t like trouble. Usually, they’re not mean, but they might lash out if they feel scared by people, dogs, or cars—or if they’re hungry or tired. They’ll charge, kick, and stomp to defend themselves or their babies. If they’re startled while sleeping or bothered by people or dogs getting too close, they might get very upset and react badly.

Moose are pretty good athletes

a moose is standing in the woods looking at the camera
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Even though they’re big and carry massive antlers, moose are surprisingly graceful whether they’re on land or in the water. They are good swimmers, going about 6 miles per hour. And did you know? Grown-up moose can run as fast as 35 miles per hour. Even when they’re not rushing, they can trot at about 20 miles per hour and travel long distances.

From the day they’re born—moose are great swimmers

brown deer on water during daytime
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Moose are natural-born swimmers who stay great at it as they grow up. Did you know? A full-grown moose can glide through the water at about 6 miles per hour for up to two hours straight. You might wonder how such a big animal can stay afloat, but it’s true! This skill helps them stay cool during hot sunny days by keeping their body temperature down.

Moose can live a long time, up to 20 years

brown animal lying on green grass field
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Ever wondered how long a moose can live? On average, they make it to around 20 years old. But here’s the catch—life in the wilderness isn’t always easy for them. Some end up becoming meals for wolves or bears. Yet, if they manage to steer clear of danger and human hunters—they’ve got a shot at hitting that impressive two-decade mark!

Snails can be bad news for moose

brown moose on white grass field during daytime
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Here’s something really strange: snails can actually be dangerous to moose. Some snails carry a parasite called “brain worms,” and when moose munch on these snails while hunting in warm, shallow water, they can get infected. These brain worms can cause serious damage to the moose’s nervous system and even be fatal. Other animals in the deer family also have these nasty worms.

Baby moose need their moms to keep them safe

two animal standing on grass
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Female moose typically give birth to one or two calves. These little ones weigh around 30 pounds when they’re born and grow up super fast. Even though they cannot run away or protect themselves at first, mom takes care of them for about a year and a half. She keeps them safe from wolves and bears who might try to harm them.

Baby moose grow really fast in their first year

brown elephant on green grass field during daytime
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Young moose (called calves) grow incredibly fast during their first year of life. They put on weight so rapidly that they can gain up to 5 pounds daily when born. And here’s something interesting: calves can swim right from the start! It seems they’re born with the natural talent to paddle in the water.

Moose like to be alone most of the time

brown deer on water fountain
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Moose are a bit different from other deer—they don’t hang out in big groups. Instead, they mostly go solo while looking for food. The only time they really come together is during September and October for mating season. A male moose (as known as bull) finds a female (called cow), mates with her and then heads off until next year.