Posts tagged ‘Northern Forests’

How did the moose get its name?

Moose

The moose is the largest deer in the world.  Its name comes from an American Indian word which literally means “eats off,” from the animal’s habit of stripping bark and branches off trees.

A moose is a creature of the forested parts of northern North America and Europe.  If feeds chiefly on the leaves, twigs and bark of trees.  Travelers in the northern forests occasionally see a moose standing by the roadside.

Moose are easy to identify by  their long, knobby legs and high shoulders that look like a hump.  A hairy fold of skin hangs under the throat of the bull (male).  The largest moose live in Alaska.

A fully grown Alaskan bull moose may stand 7 feet at the shoulders, weigh 1,500 pounds or more and carry a six-foot span of antlers (horns), but he can move through the dense forest silently.

Outside of America, these animals are called elk.  But the American elk is different.  Its correct name if “wapiti”. – Dick Rogers

 

What is a wolverine?

The wolverine is the largest member of the weasel family, weighing up to thirty pounds.  With its dark, shaggy hair and short bushy tail, the wolverine looks something like a small bear.  It lives in northern forests.

It has a skunk-like scent for defense and is sometimes called a “skunk bear.”

Wolverine

For its size, the wolverine is unequaled in appetite and craftiness, and is the trapper’s worst enemy.

During the winter, the wolverine follows the trapper’s footsteps and skillfully steals the bait from the traps set for more valuable animals, or eats the animals caught in the trap.

The wolverine not only robs the trapper of his bait and catch, but may even sneak into the trapper’s cabin, eat his food and steal anything in sight, including rifles, axes, dishes, even blankets, all of which it carries away and buries.

It repays his “host” by leaving the cabin uninhabitable by its foul smell.

Because they have been hunted ruthlessly, wolverines have become rare in North America and are seldom seen enough of Canada today. – Dick Rogers

 

What is a Marten?

Pole Cat

Marten are slim, weasel-like animals that live in the Northern forests around the world.

Martens are small, weasel-like animals with slender bodies and long, bushy tails.

One of the best-known martens is the American martens, often called the American sable.

The American marten is found only in the denser forests of North America.  It is about the size of the house cat and has soft, golden-brown fur.

Its favorite den is a mosslined hollow, high up in a tree.  But a rock pile or hollow log will often do as well.

This agile animal is an expert tree climber.  It chases squirrels through the treetops, leaping easily from one branch to another.  On the ground, it hunts mice, rabbits and other small animals.

Unfortunately for the little marten it, too, is hunted.  Its rich, lustrous fur is prized for coats, flats, and muffs.

Its chief enemies, besides man, are the horned owl and the lynx.

Because they have become quite rare, martens are protected by law in many of our states. – Dick Rogers