Dean M. Chriss
Mama Moose, Lunchtime, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Mama Moose, Lunchtime, Grand Teton National Park

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With her yearling calf and a large bull moose waiting in a nearby meadow, the cow moose (Alces alces) in this photograph stops to feed on aquatic vegetation. After expanding for most of the 20th century North American moose population has been in steep decline since the 1990s. Moose are the largest extant species in the deer family, typically inhabiting boreal and mixed deciduous forests in the Northern Hemisphere. They are aquatic mammals and excellent swimmers that are known to dive underwater to reach plants on lake bottoms. Moose are the only deer species capable of feeding underwater.