Moose have fur that is of the dark or tan color. It is thick enough to insulate them during the winter season. The bulls have a long waddle growing from their necks or chin which remains covered by hair. The female moose have a comparatively smaller waddle. Moose also have a flap of skin that hangs from their throat. It is called dewlap or bell. It varies in length regardless of the animal’s size.
Why Do Moose Have Beards?
The beard of a moose is actually called a dewlap or a bell. During the rut or mating season, the dewlap is used for the purpose of communication between two moose both by sight as well as smell. During the time of mating, a bull moose will rub the cow moose with his chin. This is also known as “chinning”. Thus, the dewlap transfers the scent of this bull to the female moose.
Do female moose have the beard?
Female moose are known as cows. The beard or dewlap or bell of a moose is in fact, a mystery. Both males, as well as females, have them. However, they may differ in size from a male moose. Normally, the size of the dewlap is shorter in cows compared to a bull.
How long is a male moose beard?
Male moose generally tend to have a larger beard. Some of the beards of a bull are fat and 20 inches long. On the other hand, there are some bulls that only have a bunch of feathers of hair. We are not sure whether it can be called a beard or not.
How does the beard play a part in the mating rituals?
Many biologists guess that the beard of moose plays an important part in the mating rituals. During the mating season which is also called the rut, the bull spreads scents from urine and saliva through its dewlap or the beard which attracts the cows. According to some reports, the size and shape of the beard of a moose are also indicators of their attractiveness.
Is the beard a sign of fitness for moose?
Different people have different opinions on whether the beard of a moose is a sign of its fitness or not. According to the research, the dewlap or beard is much bigger in the male moose or the bull than in the case of the female moose or the cow. So it can be said that the dewlap or beard is a symbol of the fitness of a male moose and also it is a signal for mating.
Do moose calves have beards?
Normally, moose calves do not have beards. They have a small nose that has a fine feature. The claves also have short ears and a flap of hair that looks almost like the beard. It covers the skin under their throat.
The moose experts have alternative opinions about the purpose of beards. Some say it helps them with heat regulation. There are some others who say that the long strands which often hang down can also freeze and break off in the winter. It can be painful for a moose.