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Page 20 - MOOSE, A Cape Breton Extinction

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1975/3/31 (1241 reads)
 

vet begins to shed, showing the white bony structure beneath. By September the ant? lers are sunburnt to a deep brown, except the tips, which are white and polished from being rubbed on the brush and trees." Dropped each year, antlers are rarely found as they provide essential minerals for smaller creatures. The period of sexual excitement in male mammals in known as the rutting period and the word rut comes into the language from the Old French and Latin roots meaning "roar." Seton says the cows do most of the calling and the bulls do most of the tra? velling but other authors say they both call. Hosley in Peterson, 1949: "The call of the moose is seldom heard except during the rut. The call is subdued but clear at distances up to 200 yards. Palmer described the call of the bull as *...either a low moo-like plea broken off short with an upward inflection at the end, or a throaty gulp.* He said the call of the cow was '...longer and more like that of the domestic cow, but not as loud.*" One author reported the bull thrashing the bushes with his antlers and making a grunt-like sound (oo-oomph, oo-oomph) while the cow hidden in the willows wailed (mew-oo-wa, mew-oo-wa). Thompson in Peterson, 1949: "A mature bull was observed pawing in a small area at the base of a rock cliff near the outer margin of a forested area. After a few strokes of pawing, he straddled the depres? sion, bent his body near the groimd and urinated into the hole he had pawed out. The bull carried out the alternate operation of pawing and urinating seven times before a female moose appeared from the adjacent timber. As the cow approached, the male moose padded the wallow with a downward motion of his forefeet. He then laid in the mud and twisted and turned, presumably.to cover his body with mud. When the cow reached the area, she struck the bull with a front foot until he got out of the wal? low. The female then laid down and rolled and turned, covering herself with mud. The bull standing by during this procedure, came toward the cow and struck her with a front hoof. When both animals were standing, the bull smelled the female genital re? gion and began rubbing his neck and bell along her back and sides. The cow stood facing away and while the bull continued this action she stamped her rear legs and tossed her head. When this activity had nearly ceased the cow started to walk away several times, but was stopped each time by a low grunting call from the bull. Fi? nally they walked together into a forested area. Coitus was not executed at this time." Mating happens several times during the day. It has long been thought that the bull is monogamous but it is now known that he remains with the cow only until her season is over, when her refusal leads him to seek another. The tales of tremen- Angel Manufacturing & Supply Co. Ltd in Heating and Supplies p. O. BOX 96 NORTH SYDNEY MOVA SCOTU Speedy Propane FILLING STATIONS: J. E. Benoit, Arichat Robin's, Cheticamp Inlet Campground, 5 miles W. of Baddeck Speedy Propane, King's Road, Sydney 314 Charlotte Street SYDNEY Seafood Restaurant ' Fully Licensed & Open All Year FISKE INNSi ' Port HasiingH M '' 625-1300 y Cape Breton * s Magazine/20
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