Moose Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Sarah Caughron

Sarah has a master's degree in Applied Anthropology/Archaeology and has worked in formal and informal education since 2006.

It's no moose-tery that moose have an interesting look. This lesson will teach you about their unique physical features and where to look for a moose!

What is a Moose?

A moose is basically a huge deer! In fact, they are considered one of the largest mammals in North America and can live up to 25 years in the wild. They are herbivores and prefer to eat higher grass and shrubs because they are very tall, reaching up to 6.5 feet in height at the shoulders. In fact, the word moose is an Algonquin word for 'twig eater.' Moose also eat pinecones and lichens when grass food is scarce in the winter months.

A moose walking through the water.
Moose in water

What Does A Moose Look Like?

Moose have an interesting look that makes them easy to identify. They are very tall and stand on very skinny legs for their body size. Moose are so tall that they stand tall above an average grown man.

They have built-in snowshoes with their wide, split hooves and extra toes called dew claws. This allows their long legs to move easily through the deep snow or muddy ground that is common in their habitat.

Moose have a horse-like long face and a bag of skin hanging from their face like a goat. This is called a bell, and scientists aren't really sure what it's used for. They think it might help a bull male attract a cow female since males have larger bells than females. Male (bull) moose can grow very large antlers that they shed yearly. Some antler racks have been measured at 6 feet in width! This is greater than the height of the average man!

The antlers of a bull moose
Moose

What is Moose Life Like?

Moose live in the forests and wetlands of northern latitudes in North America (Canada, Alaska, and New England, for example) and other places around the world like Russia and Scandinavia. In the summer months, moose can be found swimming in lakes and ponds and eating aquatic plants.

They are good swimmers, and they can even hold their breath for up to 30 seconds underwater. On land, they've been clocked running up to 35 miles an hour to escape predators, like wolves. When not threatened by predators, a moose can keep a trot of about 20 miles an hour, which is a speed you might reach on your bike if you went down a really big hill!

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