Last Picture from Wyoming? (Moose)
I’m still trying to figure out what to do with my defunct hard drive with the rest of my pics from Wyoming but I did have this one available as I sent it to a friend and could pull it off that email. When we were with our guide, we only saw Moose at long distances or for very quick glimpses before they ran for cover. The next day, we rented a car and went searching ourselves and were rewarded with a nice experience with 3 Moose. I spotted them sitting down in the prairie not too far off a Grand Teton Park road. I took some shots of them sitting around and then we just waited until they got up to graze. This Moose was the only one with his antlers still intact – the other two had obviously just shed theirs as they had prominent blemishes where their racks used to be…. This guy was still beautifully “adorned” and was quite a magnificent animal. As always, click or double click to get a closer look.
A couple of things that our guide told us about moose that we found really interesting:
- Their long snouts are designed for grazing, both in the fields and in the marshes. The nostrils are specifically designed to close when they are eating underwater. The length of the nose is also important in that it allows the air to be warmed before it reaches their lungs.
- Unlike humans, who have their arteries close to the bone and protected by the muscle layer and a vein system closer to the surface to allow heat dissipation, the moose’s arteries and veins are kind of intertwined and designed to retain the heat and protect it from the cold.
- We asked about the “bell” of fatty tissue that hangs below the Moose’s neck. While he didn’t give us a definitive answer, he believed that it might be a defense mechanism to protect the moose from one of its major predators, the wolf, who normally attack the neck as a weak point. He believed that even if such a trait protected the moose from one in a thousand attacks, that would be enough for that trait to become a feature for natural selection in the gene pool. Pretty fascinating if true….