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Moose are the largest species of ungulates. They have short tails, a shoulder hump, and large ears. They can weigh anywhere from 600 to 1,400 pounds . Moose hair is hollow to help insulate them from the cold . Males have very large antlers that are shed each winter. An antler can weigh up to 75 pounds!
Moose are native to northern North America and can be found in almost all of Canada and most of Alaska. During the warmer months, Moose can be found near lakes and marshes; however, in the colder months they are generally found in more forested areas.
Moose are Herbivores. Moose eat large amounts of Catkins and other tall grasses that live in the water. They also eat more woody plants such as Willow bushes. A Moose needs to eat about 50 - 60 pounds of food per day in order to maintain their size. Their stomach can hold up to 112 pounds of food at one time .
The average lifespan of a Moose in the wild is 15 to 20 years . Moose breed in the Fall and have a gestation period of around 231 days . Generally only one calf is born, weighing around 35.7 pounds. The calves nurse for six months, and are considered fully grown between the age of 4 to 6.
Moose are the most active during sunset and sunrise. They are solitary animals and do not travel in herds. Moose are also very good swimmers. They can even stay underwater for up to 30 seconds at a time !
Bighorn Sheep are ungulates. They are currently not endangered, with an estimated population of around 15,500 sheep in Canada and more than 42,000 in the USA .
Bighorn Sheep have light brown to grayish or dark brown fur. They also have a white rump and a white stripe that runs down the back of all four legs. The males have large, curved horns that can weigh up to 30 lbs ! The females also have horns, however, these are much smaller.
The Canadian Rockies are home to Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep. They can be found in grassy mountain slopes, alpine meadows, or foothill areas near rocky cliffs and bluffs .
Bighorn Sheep are ruminants, meaning that they chew the cud regurgitated from its rumen. During the Summer, they eat grasses; in the Winter, when grass is difficult to find, their diet consists of more woody plants such as sage and willow. Because Bighorn Sheep are ruminants, they are able to rapidly eat large portions of food before retreating to cliffs or ledges where they can rechew and digest their food .
The average lifespan of a Bighorn Sheep is 6 to 15 years . Breeding occurs in the Fall, and lambs are born in the Spring. The gestation period is around 175 days . Lambs can walk within hours after birth. They continue to nurse up to 6 months.
Male Bighorn Sheep use their horns to compete for ewes in butting contests. During a butting contest, males can charge each other with speeds of more than 20 mph. Their battles may last as long as 24 hours ! During most of the year the females and young live in herds of about 10 sheep. The males live in bachelor herds. Once mating season arrives, herds gather together and form groups as large as 100 sheep.