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Moose in the mood: Males woo females with their intoxicating “perfume”

Moose in the mood: Males woo females with their intoxicating “perfume”


As the Arctic Ocean freezes, in southern Canada, the first frosts of the season are just starting to turn plants
into magical crystal sculptures. Fall is a busy season
for most wildlife in Canada. Over the next several weeks this male moose
will get little rest. Breeding season is in the fall, timed so females
give birth in spring, when food is abundant. Growing more than
seven centimetres in a week, moose antlers are some of the fastest-growing
mammalian tissue in the world. The majestic result
can weigh up to 40 kilograms, and be as wide
as a man is tall. They will come in handy
to ward off rivals in the days to come. He jousts loudly with trees, announcing size and status
to anyone within earshot. A female takes notice, and a fascinating
ritual begins. The bull digs a shallow pit
in the ground, then urinates lavishly… splashing himself with his distinctive
musky scent. The elixir brings
immediate results. The female
can’t seem to get enough of the male’s love potion. It’s unusual behaviour
in mating animals. One explanation could be that a mixture of pheromones
in the male’s urine during rut, triggers ovulation
in the female. Pheromones in the male’s urine are also thought to be
a good indicator of his health. Along with his antler size, it’s a way for the female
to ensure she’s getting
a high-quality mate who will provide her offspring
with the best genes possible. After a few days together, this pair will go
their separate ways. The mating season is over now
for this female, but there’s no rest
for the bull. There are several
other females in the area. He won’t get
much of a chance to eat with all the demands
of the mating season, but it ensures
that next spring’s calves will continue
his genetic legacy.

5 thoughts on “Moose in the mood: Males woo females with their intoxicating “perfume””

  1. Beautiful nature doc. Help fight to keep our Earth habitable !
    David Suzuki has such a calming yet very authoritative voice 👍

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