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Muskox

Bébé Boeuf Musqué

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Muskox

The muskox (Ovibos moschatus) is a large ruminant of the Arctic. Similarity to the bison is misleading, as it is more closely related to goats and sheep. After arriving in North America 90,000 years ago via the Bering land bridge, the muskox today occupies northern Canada, Greenland and Alaska.

Tundra dweller

Bébé boeuf musquéEssentially sedentary creatures, muskoxen live in herds in valleys and on hillsides of the Arctic tundra. It is perfectly adapted to the harsh conditions of its habitat. Despite a heavy and stocky build, it is a good runner and an agile climber.

 

Insulated from the elements

The fleece of the muskox is eight times warmer than sheep’s wool, helping it easily brave temperatures colder than minus 40° C. At the other end of the scale, discomfort begins with temperatures above 10° C. When summer arrives, its woolly undercoat detaches in clumps from the body.

Snow-hooves

The hooves of the muskox help it move about easily in a snowbound environment. Its forepaws are used as tools for digging while it grazes for food. In times when dense snow cover does not yield to pawing, the muskox will use head butts to break through.

Two horns and a bumper

Horns are present on both male and female muskoxen, curving downward from each side of the head into very sharp tips. Horns can reach lengths of over 70 cm, and grow out from the forehead, where they form a sort of bumper roughly 10 cm thick.

Headstrong in battle 

Boeuf musqué

Bulls have the habit of confronting each other by butting heads. These impressive battles, punctuated with menacing bellows, escalate during breeding season. The victor in these confrontations is considered the dominant male in the herd.

Musk and mooing

Mating takes place during the month of August. This period features not only by battles, but also loud bellowing and the strong odour of musk released by bulls. The cow’s gestation period lasts between eight and nine months. A single calf is born between April and June.

Bundled-up babies

Sporting a thick coat at birth, the newborn calf can withstand temperatures colder than minus 20° C. After a few hours, it can already join the herd. The calf starts getting accustomed to eating vegetation well before being weaned from its mother. Juveniles, playful by nature, enjoy the protection of the herd until reaching the age of maturity.

Digging for food

The muskox must dig through snow most of the year to uncover the willows, sedges and various grasses making up its diet. When snow cover becomes too thick, it can die of starvation. This herbivore enjoys a respite from digging during the brief summer season, which provides abundant and easily accessible vegetation.

Ring of defence

Boeuf musquéThe wolf, sole predator of the muskox, especially attacks juveniles and individuals living on the fringes of the herd. Confronted with a pack of wolves, these peaceable ruminants form a defensive ring around the most vulnerable members of the herd. If this barrier doesn’t discourage the enemy, the muskoxen can sound the charge.

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Comments

Domestiquer un boeuf musqué

Par Équipe d'Humanima, 2015-01-21, 04h51

Il semble que ce soit possible de domestiquer ces animaux. " Des programmes de domestication ont été mis sur pied à Unalakleet, en Alaska, et à Kuujjuaq, au Québec. Le troupeau domestiqué de l’Alaska se trouve actuellement à Palmer et a permis l’apparition d’une industrie autochtone de fabrication de vêtements et d’autres articles en laine. Les bœufs musqués du projet de Kuujjuaq ont été relâchés et vivent aujourd’hui en liberté dans le Nord du Québec." Source : http://www.hww.ca/fr/especes/mammiferes/le-boeuf-musque.html

Laine

Par Paul-André Vourlessis, 2015-01-11, 04h51

Peut-on domestiquer l'animal pour récupérer sa laine. Au mëme titre que le mouton, alpagua, le mohair. Merci pour les informations.

boeuf musqué versus bison

Par Équipe Humanima, 2011-02-18, 04h51

Bonjour, nous vous remercions de votre commentaire. Nous allons corriger cette erreur.

vétérinaire

Par jacques dancosse, 2011-02-17, 04h51

La 1er photo du boeuf musqué est en réalité une de bison

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