Adult Moose

These huge mammals are herbivores, which mean they consume plants for energy. They mainly eat willows (such as Salix alba), trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides), redosier dogwood (Cornus stolonifera), red maple (Acer rubrum), striped maple (Acer pennsylvanicum), white birch (Betula papyrifera), beaked hazelnut (Corylus rostrata), pin cherry (Prunus pensylvanica) and, primarily in winter, balsam fir (Abies balsamea). The aquatic plants that they particularly consume are water shield (Brasenia schreberi), yellow pond lily (Nuphar sp.) and pondweed (Potamogeton sp.), which constitutes a preferred and important part of the moose's diet in summer ( The moose uses its modified jaw to feed on fresh leaves and twigs. They can eat the plants via browsing or taking a twig into their mouth and then pulling sideways to strip off a greater amount of leaves. In order to do this motion, they need strong, thick lips and tongue. When browsing leaves, the moose eats the vegetation that is at the end of the branch, and then proceeds inwards toward the main stem or trunk.  Moose tend to stay where food is readily available. Plants are really low in nutritional value which means that the moose must eat a lot of vegetation to get its strength and to grow in size. An average moose eats about 40-50 pounds of vegetation a day!

Young Moose

A young moose, also called calf, is also an herbivore. The main source of nutrition for a calf is their mother’s milk. They receive their mother’s milk from birth until they are weaned off of it at the age of about five months. However, several weeks after being born, the calf starts to browse on vegetation while still drinking its mother’s milk. The mother shows the calf how to eat plants and leaves so that the calf learns how to survive on its own.  
Click here if you are interested in seeing a moose eat aquatic plants!

Click here if you are interested in seeing a moose eating terrestrial plants!

Go to Reproduction to see how the moose reproduces!

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