Year of 2017

Muskoxen near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska

Both male and female muskoxen have the long, curved horns, which are handy for fending off predators should this large Arctic bovine get cornered. But the males, seen here, are the only ones to engage in ‘rush and butt’ behavior, a way of establishing, or maintaining, dominance. Some ranchers keep muskoxen for the fine coat of fur underneath the ox’s heavy guard wool. The inner wool is shaved off and spun into yarn called qiviut.

The muskox, also spelled musk ox and musk-ox, is an Arctic mammal of the family Bovidae, noted for its thick coat and for the strong odor emitted during the seasonal rut by males, from which its name derives. This musky odor is used to attract females during mating season. Its Inuktitut name “umingmak” translates to “the bearded one”. Muskoxen primarily live in Greenland and the Canadian Arctic of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, with small introduced populations in the American state of Alaska, the Canadian territory of Yukon, the Scandinavian Peninsula and Siberia.
Scientific name: Ovibos moschatus
Weight: 628.32 pound (285 kg) on average
Lifespan: 12 years – 20 years
Height: 43.31 inch (110 cm) – 59.06 inch (150 cm)
Body length: 78.74 inch (200 cm) – 98.43 inch (250 cm) (Male) · 53.15 inch (135 cm) – 78.74 inch (200 cm) (Female)
Gestation period: 243 days – 274 days
Muskox distribution combined
Distribution of muskox. Red historical habitat. Blue recently introduced populations.