Animals of the world, Muskox

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Moskus (640x501)

  • The Musk ox  is an Arctic hoofed mammal of the family Bovidae, noted for its thick coat and for the strong odor emitted during the seasonal rut by males
  • Muskoxen primarily lives in Greenland and the Canadian Arctic with small introduced populations in Alaska, Yukon (Canada), the Scandinavian Peninsula and Siberia.
  • Musk oxen are stocky mammals with large heads, short necks, and short, stout legs.
  • Musk oxen stands 1.1 to 1.5 m (4 to 5 ft) high at the shoulder
  • The Musk ox’s coat is of long, dark brown, grey and black hair that reaches nearly to the feet
  • Horns are present in both sexes and are as much as 60 cm (24 inches) long in old males.
  • During the summer, musk oxen live in wet areas, such as river valleys, moving to higher elevations in the winter to avoid deep snow
  • Musk oxen feed on grasses, sedges, and willows. In summer they store large amounts of fat, which they use to supplement the meagre forage in winter
  • Musk oxen live in herds of 12–24 in the winter and 8–20 in the summer. They do not hold territories, but they do mark their trails with preorbital glands
  • Musk oxen have a distinctive defensive behaviour: when the herd is threatened, the bulls and cows will face outward to form a stationary ring  around the calves
  • A musk ox can reach speeds of up to 60 km/h (37 mph)
  • Their life expectancy is 12–20 years.

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