Domain – Eukarya
Kingdom – Animalia
Phylum – Chordata
Class – Mammalia
Order – Artiodactyla
Family – Cervidae
Species Alces alces



Below is a description of why Alces alces belongs to each taxonomic group:


Domain EukaryaEukaryotic Cell - image courtsey of Wellcome Images

The moose belongs to the domain
Eukarya because all members within this domain have a true nucleus with a nuclear envelope and membrane bound organelles. 




Kingdom Animalia

The moose belongs to the kingdom Animalia because all members are multicellular and are heterotrophic, which means they have to ingest other organisms to get their energy.






Phylum Chordata

All members of the Chordata, which includes the moose, have a notochord, a dorsal hollow nerve chord, pharyngeal gill slits, and a muscular tail that extends beyond the anus at some point during development.


Class Mammalia

The moose belongs to the class Mammalia because all mammals have hair or fur, breathe through lungs, and they produce milk for their young.






Order Artiodactyla

The moose belongs to the order Artiodactyla because all members have an even number of toes, which are protected by hooves.





Family Cervidae

The moose belongs to the family Cervidae because all members have one disticint characteristic. That characteristic is antlers.





Genus Alces

The moose belongs to the genus Alces because this group contains all the moose species. There is only one species of moose, but there are eight subspecies. The eight subspecies are:
 - Alces alces gigas
 - Alces alces andersoni
 - Alces alces americana
 - Alces alces shirasi
 - Alces alces alces
 - Alces alces pfizenmaryeri
 - Alces alces buturlini
 - Alces alces cameloides

Below are phylogenetic trees of Alces alces:

Phylogenetic Tree of the Moose from Domain to Order - image generated by Gavin Hautala

The phylogenetic tree above is based on morphological data. The tree shows where Alces alces's order Artiodactyla fits into the domain of Eukarya. Alces alces's classification is shown through the navy-colored boxes. I've only listed the closest relatives to the moose with the orders Perissodactyla and the order Cetacea. Members of the Perissodactyla are the odd-numbered hoofed ungulates, such as horses and rhinoceroses. The members of Cetacea are whales and dolphins.

The phylogenetic tree above is based on molecular data of the genes CO2, Cyb, αLAlb and PRKCI. The genes CO2 and Cyb are mitochondrial protein-coding genes, and the genes aLAlb and PRKCI are nuclear fragments. Alces alces's classification is shown through the navy-colored boxes. Based on this information, the closet relatives to the  Alces genus are the Capreolus genus and the Hydropotes genus. The genus Capreolus contains extinct species of roe deer such as Capreolus capreolus. The genus Hydropotes contains the water deer such as Hydropotes inermis. This proves that Alces alces is not as closely related to elk as scientists once believed them to be. 

Go to Habitat to see where a moose lives!

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