Muskox

Ovibos moschatus

The Muskox is a nomadic species that lives in the Arctic tundra in Canada, Alaska, and Greenland. The Muskox migrates from sheltered, moist lowlands in the summer to higher, barren plateaus in winter, where there is not so much snow accumulation and therefore food is easier to find.

Below their long hair, these animals also have an insulating layer of underwool that is much warmer than sheep’s wool and finer than cashmere. This coat allows muskoxen to function normally in temperatures of -40C in high winds and blowing snow. During the summer, moskoxen loose their wooly undercoats.

The muskox has rounded hooves that spread enough so to prevent the animal from sinking into soft snow. Both sexes have horns, but males have thicker ones.

From prehistoric times to the present, moskoxen have provided the Inuit population with meat, material for clothes, and horns to be used in the manufacture of weapons and implements.

The picture of this Muskox was taken at the zoo of Portland, Oregon, in April 2004.

Genus Ovibos
Subfamily Caprinae
Family Bovidae
Order Artiodactyla
Subclass Eutheria
Class Mammalia
Subphylum Vertebrata
Phylum Chordata
Kingdom Animalia
Life on Earth
Index