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State Animal - Moose
The moose, or A. alces as known by the scientific name, is the largest member of the deer family in the world. In North America it is found in wooded areas of Canada and the northern United States. Maximum size of a bull may stand more than 6 ft high at the shoulder and weigh more than 1400 lbs. The males bear enormous, broad, flattened antlers with prongs, or tines which can can attain a spread of 5 ft or more. The antlers are shed each year after the mating season. The body color of the moose varies from almost black to light brown, becoming greyish in winter. The legs are lighter in color than the body. The protruding muzzle and the long legs enable the animal to browse on brush and to wade into lakes and ponds to feed on aquatic plants. The shoulders of the moose are higher than the hindquarters, giving it a humpbacked appearance that is accentuated by the short neck. In order to reach low-growing plants or to drink from a shallow pool, the moose is forced to kneel. It is an excellent swimmer. Moose generally are solitary, although they may form into small bands in winter and trample down the snow where good cover exists, making a moose yard where the animals stay while the food lasts. During the mating season, bulls battle for the cows, and their roars may be heard for great distances. After a gestation of eight months, one to three calves are born; they stay with the mother for two years.
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