A word of caution for students, journalists, people boning up on trivia for pub quizzes, and anyone using the Web to plan a nature-viewing trip, choose a pet, design saddles, or anything else that could prove dangerous:
Always check your facts with multiple sources.
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The moose (Alces alces) is the largest and indubitably handsomest member of the deer family. The smallest member of the deer family is the South American pudu, which is admittedly cute, but it’s no moose. It takes 40 pudus to equal the weight of one moose.
Mooses can be found wandering all over the northern Northern Hemisphere, in North America, Europe, and Asia.
Mooses are generally sort of a brownish color, though they can range from light beige to almost black. The rarest moose of all is the ghostly “spirit moose,” not an albino but rather an all-white color variation. (See pictures here and video here.)
The official plural of moose is “moose.” The Moose Page chooses to ignore this, and you should, too. It’s much more entertaining to change the plural depending on the number: one moose, two mooses, three meese, four moosen, then start all over again with five moose, six mooses, and so on.
Mooses are very large. It’s best not to mess with them, especially during rutting season. Unless you’re a moose yourself.
We’re not kidding. In Alaska mooses are responsible for more deaths each year than bears are. Most of these happen when mooses tangle with cars. Drive carefully! Neither you nor the moose will do well in an accident.
Mooses are herbivorous, and it’s a darn good thing they are. Otherwise there would be even more moose-related deaths each year.
The moose is the official State Animal of Maine. Both Maine and Michigan have mooses on their flags. The Michigan moose is rearing up to do battle with its archenemy, the elk (wapiti). This is likely due to the elk’s inferiority complex because of its slightly smaller size. The Maine moose, on the other hand, is relaxing peacefully under a pine tree.
Only the bull moose has antlers, and they fall off every winter. The cow moose has better things to do than grow silly appendages.
The last words of the American naturalist and author Henry David Thoreau are reported to be “Moose. Indian.”