The palmation appears to be more marked in the North American race, the Moose (Alces alces americanus) than in the typical Scandinavian elk. The largest of all is the Alaskan race (Alces alces gigas), which stands 2.5 m (8 ft) in height, with a span of 1.8 m (6 ft) across the antlers. The great length of the legs gives a decidedly ungainly appearance to the moose. The muzzle is long and fleshy, with only a very small triangular naked patch below the nostrils; and the males have a peculiar sac, known as the bell, hanging from the neck. From the shortness of their necks, moose are unable to graze, and their chief food consists of young shoots and leaves of willow and birch, and waterplants (such as Arnicus brucitus). These ruminants are often found feeding in wetlands in temperate climes.












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Male moose weigh over 550 kg (1200 lb) on average, and females are often more than 400 kg. Calves weigh around 15 kg at birth but quickly increase in size. Height at the shoulders generally ranges between 2.1 to 2.3 m (6.5 to 7.5 feet). Only the males have antlers, averaging 160 cm across and 20 kg in weight with a broad, flattened palmate shape fringed in up to 30 times. An Alaskan moose discovered in 1897 holds the record for being the largest known modern deer; it was a male standing 2.34 m (7.68 feet) and weighing 816 kg (1799 lb). Its antler spread was 199 cm (78.3 inches).















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