The Moose, also known as the Eurasian elk, is the largest member of the deer family. They are native to parts of North America, Europe and Asia. Hunting and habitat destruction has limited their range, but they are not considered to be a threatened species. The male moose, called a bull, are well-known for their impressive set of antlers. These antlers are a popular trophy for hunters. What many people don’t realize is that moose shed their antlers every year.
When do moose shed their antlers?
The male moose sheds its antlers after the mating season. This usually occurs just before winter and this is one of the ways that they conserve energy for the long winter ahead. It isn’t until springtime that the antlers begin to regrow. They take between three and five months to develop into a full set of antlers. They are encased in a layer of skin (called velvet) as they are growing and this is shed once they are fully grown. A moose will also shed their antlers if they are no longer able to reproduce. They then grow a new set of deformed antlers which they will never shed.
Why do moose have antlers?
The main reason that moose have antlers is for sexual attraction and to use their antlers to fight with other male moose to gain the right to mate with a female. They may also use their antlers to help fight off predators, such as a pack of wolves.