Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Moose Photos From Glacier National Park Show Bizarre Feeding Techniques

©Bert Gildart: How long can a moose hold its head under water? That’s a question not many people get a chance to resolve, but yesterday, at Two Medicine Campground in Glacier National Park, Janie and I had a chance to do ask that question.

Why such a long nose?

Why such a long nose?

Early yesterday morning, a cow moose with its calf passed through the campground, then wandered onto a small bog that was about 30 yards from our campsite. Though the yearling calf moved on before we could get set up, the cow stuck her long, long nose into the water. Then with a last roll of her eyes in our direction, she inserted her head, holding it there for about 30 seconds.

She knew we were there, and perhaps that was why she kept her ears out of the water on her first feeding. But as we watched her for a period that edged close to an hour, she grew more and more confident, soon immersing her head—ears and all.

How Long Can it Remain Submerged

How long can it stay submerged?

From research conducted long ago for a mammal book I wrote for the Glacier Natural History Association years ago, I learned that when a moose dips its head under water, the difference between the water pressure and the air pressure causes the nostrils to close. This long nose enables moose to locate food more easily, while the variation in pressures prevents water from flooding into its nose. Feeler-hairs on the over-sized nose further enable them to locate the best plants in the murkiest ponds—and to then feed for hours.

Moose, in fact, can eat 40-60 pounds of plants each day and it appeared that our cow would do it all in one very long “sitting.”

Bizarre Feeding Technique

Bizarre Feeding Technique

Our moose had no interest in us and continued to munch and munch. She must have been ravenous, for she had swallowed most of what she clipped before raising her head. By my watch our cow held her head under water for almost two full minutes, but I don’t believe that is any sort of a record. Later I read that some observers have recorded moose holding their heads under water for over three minutes.

Though that’s not a time we recorded, nevertheless, we had a chance to ask the question, one of the rewards of gathering moose photos from Glacier National Park.



5 Responses to “Moose Photos From Glacier National Park Show Bizarre Feeding Techniques”

  1. webdoc Says:

    Cool pictures!

  2. Nancy Zatkoff Says:

    I love the pictures and the info. Thanks. I read you every day. Keep up the great work you two are doing. I return to FL next week to the singles park Florilow Oaks, Bushnell FL

  3. Rich C Says:

    Bert,

    Love the photos. I’ve always been a moose “junkie” and have tons of photos from Pittsburg, NH with moose. Never watched one feed in this way though! Great shots as always!

    Rich

  4. Bob Mariano Says:

    Bert,

    Great pics, I really enjoy reading about your journeys. My wife and I just got back from Alpine, AZ after a week of relaxing, fishin, and viewing the Elk in that part of Arizona. Be safe and take care.

    Regards,

    Bob and Anne Mariano

  5. Glacier National Park's Valley of Moose - Moose pictures | Bert Gildart: Writer and Photographer Says:

    [...] with some success was the moose. Last year, some of my readers may recall I had similar luck (Holding its breath ) at a tiny lake in Two Medicine (See my entry on place names ) [...]

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