It’s a Moose; It’s a Deer; It’s an Elk; It’s…

Moose (alces alces)

Moose (Alces alces)

A moose? A deer? An elk?

All of the above?

Why yes, yes it is. For you see, in North America what is known as the “moose,” is called the “Eurasian elk” in European countries. As well, the moose is the largest living member of the deer family, which is interesting. Are there larger non-living members of the deer family?

I just don’t know. The sign wasn’t very informative.

Actually I do know. Since I’m the curious sort, I looked it up. The extinct Irish Elk was the largest deer of all time. But actually, they might have lost their title: in 1897 a bull Alaska Moose weighed in at 1,800 pounds and 92 inches high, which matches the Irish Elk’s size.

But maybe that one was just a massive giant. Even if he was ridiculously huge, moose in general are really, really big. On average, an adult moose is six or seven feet high at the shoulder and weigh 800 or more pounds.

Not only are they huge but they’re kind of funny-looking because they have really long legs, big hooves, a humpback (but not like a camel), a short tail, big ears, and a large nose with an overbite. And a beard.

All this to say they’re pretty recognizable so I should have no problem spotting one. Also, they’re all over the place in Canada. Well, probably not in Abbotsford, but I wouldn’t put it past them.

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