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Page 19 - MOOSE, A Cape Breton Extinction

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1975/3/31 (1353 reads)
 

is not so friendly: "When protecting her calf from an invader, (she) will attack a man on foot or horseback. The cow moose with a calf not old enough to travel, will stand her ground. She will permit approach to within 20 yards of her offspring. Con? tinuation of the approach causes her mane to rise and one ear will drop dox-m on her neck. When the other ear is dropped, she will charge and strike with both front feet." (Couey in Peterson, 1948) Seton says the calf can follow the cow on the se? cond or third day and is often forced early in life to follow the cow into icy wa? ter. Moose are good swimmers (though an important cause of death is drowning) and while crossing wide waters the calf is often seen resting its nose on the back of the cow as they swim. Calves usually stay with the cow the full year, even during the rutting season, when the bulls accept the company of the calf with the cow. They try to stay with the cow even beyond the arrival of a new calf • though the cow tries to discourage the yearling. "There is no other wild animal that grows so rapidly as the moose." (Stone in Peter? son, 1924) A newborn calf weighs between 25 and 35 pounds and will gain 1-2 pounds a day the first month, 3-5 a day the second. The Alaiskan moose grow to around 1800 pounds while other North American moose don't reach more than 1400. The size de? creases eastward, and the moose of Nova Scotia probably average about 800 pounds. In the first year the male develops "buttons," so small thev are rarely seen and are lost the first winter. As a yearling he develops his first set of "spikes." After that they grow to the well-known palmate form • though there is no established cri? teria for determining the bull's age from the antlers. Manv/eiler in Peterson, 1941: "Maximum body development comes after the sixth year when the antler material formed in the period of a few months is greater than that developed in a lifetime by the other even-hoofed mammals (of Minnesota). Their annual formation is as much a drain on the system of the male as is the production of young to the opposite sex." Ant? lers begin as knobs covered with velvet that contains blood vessels that carry and deposit calcium • thus the antler is formed just beneath the velvet by accrual. Size and shape can be determined by many factors, including geneticsj climate, the lime content of the soil, etc. Seton: "In 3 months the antlers are finished and the vel- Where Better Service Costs No More MacLeod's FINA Baddeck INGONISH Deervale Cottages Phone 285-0073 Bonnell Furniture Limited SYDNEY AND GLACE BAY, ?. S. 50 Years Serving Cape Bretoners with Fine Furniture and Appliances CEIMTRAL& NOVA SCOTIA TRUST COMIWNY 225 Chorfotte Street, Sydney, Novo Scotio. P, O. Box 307, BIP 6H2 Telephone (902) 562-5596 j'state Planning . Mortgages and Real Es? tate • Savings & Chequing Accounts . Guaranteed Investment Certificates • Investment Management C??|)e Breton's Magazine/l9
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