- There are many types of moose of different sizes. For example, there are four subspecies of moose in North America
- Comparing moose to humans. An Alaskan moose can often surpass 7 feet tall. For comparison, that’s an inch taller than Yao Ming, one of the tallest NBA players ever!
- Horses average about 5 feet 4 inches at their withers, which would mean an average male Alaskan moose would stand a foot to a foot and a half taller at the shoulders.
Just take a look at the picture below with a moose walking in front of a group of people. Moose are tall! But just how big are moose?
In this complete moose size comparison guide, we’ll tackle how moose compare to species like elk, horses, and even people.
Let’s get started!
Moose Size Comparison: The Types of Moose
Before we get started, it is important to note that there are many types of moose that are different sizes.
So, in general, how tall are moose? Moose height varies.
Here are a few highlights of the different types of moose:
- The largest subspecies of moose are the Alaska Yukon moose. Incredibly, the largest Alaskan moose ever recorded weighed 1,808 pounds. Alaskan moose have antlers that measured more than 80 inches across!
- The largest Eurasian species of moose is the East Siberian elk. These moose are only slightly smaller than Alaskan moose and can reportedly weigh more than 1,600 pounds.
- Yellowstone moose are the smallest subspecies of moose in North America. The National Parks Service reports Yellowstone moose males to weigh about 1,000 pounds.
- The smallest moose subspecies live in the Amur region near the border of Russia and China. Even while being the “runt of the litter,” this moose can stand about 6 feet tall!
With some moose standing more than 7 feet at the shoulder and weighing on average between 800 to 1500 lbs, they’re towering creatures.
Let’s compare moose heights versus other animals.
Five Cool Facts About the Moose
Moose are fascinating creatures that inhabit the forests and wetlands of North America, Europe, and Asia.
Here are five cool facts that you may not have known about these majestic animals:
- Moose are the largest species of deer. Adult males, known as bulls, can weigh over 1,000 pounds and stand over 6 feet tall at the shoulder. Females, known as cows, are smaller but still impressive, with a typical weight of around 800 pounds.
- Moose are excellent swimmers. They are known to cross rivers and lakes in search of food and to avoid predators. In fact, their long, powerful legs and streamlined bodies make them well-suited for swimming, and they can travel several miles in the water.
- Moose have a unique adaptation in their noses. They have a flap of skin called a “bell,” which can be closed to keep water out while they’re swimming. This flap also serves as a kind of air conditioning system, allowing them to regulate the temperature and humidity of the air they breathe in.
- Moose have large, flattened antlers. The antlers are shed and regrown each year and can reach up to 6 feet in width in some species. They are used by males to attract mates and to compete with other males during the breeding season.
- Moose are herbivores, and their diet consists mainly of leaves, twigs, and bark. They are especially fond of aquatic plants, such as water lilies, and will often wade into shallow water to reach them.
Moose is a truly unique and impressive species, with many fascinating adaptations and behaviors. Whether you encounter them in the wild or simply admire them from afar, there’s no denying that these animals are truly awe-inspiring.
Moose vs. Human Size Comparison
You’re lost and disoriented in a forested area in northern Alaska when you emerge from behind a tree to find yourself standing face-to-face with a giant. It’s a moose. Are you standing eye to eye?
Perhaps if you’re really tall!
So how tall is a moose compared to a human really? Alaskan moose height can often surpass 7 feet tall. In fact, the largest ever recorded Alaskan moose height measured 7 feet 7 inches at its shoulders! For comparison, that’s an inch taller than Yao Ming, one of the tallest NBA players ever!
Remember though, these measurements for moose just reach their shoulder. A moose raising its head above its shoulder level would stand ever taller. When considering the size of antlers, the hoof-to-antler height on moose with a raised head could potentially reach more than 10 feet, which is taller than an NBA basketball hoop!
Moose Size Comparison to a Horse
Now that we’ve established the tallest moose stood about 7 feet 7 inches at its shoulders, how tall is a moose compared to a horse?
Horses are measured to their ‘withers’ which is a ridge between their shoulder blades. Thoroughbred horses average about 5 feet 4 inches at their withers, which would mean an average male Alaskan moose would stand a foot to a foot and a half taller at the shoulders.
Yet, horses have extremely variable heights. The tallest horse was a Belgian Gelding named Big Jake who stood 82.75 inches. That’s a height that’s slightly shorter than 7 feet tall. That means that the world’s tallest horse would measure about the same height as a male Alaskan moose. However, it would still be nearly 9 inches shorter at the shoulder than the tallest moose ever recorded!
Moose Size Comparison to an Elk
How tall is a moose compared to an elk since the latter are really tall compared to most deer species? The truth is the former simply dwarfs these large deer.
Bull elks measure about 5 feet tall at the shoulder. That means standing next to large Alaskan moose they’d be nearly two feet shorter! Male elks only weigh about half as much as a fully-grown bull Alaskan moose.
Yet, a comparison of elk and moose standing next to one another might not look as stark as expected. The range of elk in North America doesn’t extend into Alaska, which means most interactions between elk and moose would take place between the much smaller Yellowstone moose which measure closer to 6 feet at the shoulder.
Further, moose are simply massive. Some weigh up to 1,500 pounds and can stand up to seven feet at the shoulder. They’re also known to be much more aggressive in temperament than elk, though they’re mostly peaceful if left alone.
Moose Size Comparison to a Bison
Now it’s time to take a peek at that other mighty herbivore, the bison. Just how does it fare when placed side by side with the moose?
Pretty close in terms of height: a bull stands 6.5 feet at the shoulder, meaning these massive bovids might stand at an equal height or even greater compared to the equally immense cervids found in Yellowstone.
In terms of sheer weight, the bison emerges the clear winner since an adult bull can weigh just under 2,000 pounds, i.e., 1,980 pounds. That makes a bull heavier than the biggest moose ever weighed and twice as heavy as a Yellowstone male moose.
Moose Size Comparison to an Elephant
We were tired of moose overwhelming every other size comparison so we finally made it an unfair fight.
African elephants can measure up to 13 feet at their shoulder while Asian elephants measure up to 11 feet at their shoulder. Yet, there really is no scenario that would put elephants and moose eye-to-eye.
Like moose, male elephants are larger than females. Female Asian elephants average slightly less than 8 feet tall at their shoulder. That means the largest bull moose ever recorded standing next to an average female Asian elephant would measure about the same height at the shoulders.
How Much Bigger is an Adult Moose than an Adult Cow?
While we are trying to gauge how big moose can be, it might be useful to compare the size of a creature that we are probably more familiar with and have seen along a country road, on a farm, or in a petting zoo. A cow will make a great example.
Now that we know the stats on a fully grown moose, let us take a look at fairly common cow: the dairy cow. Although cows’ weight can vary a good amount, the average dairy cow weighs close to 1,500 pounds. The average height at the shoulder can be anywhere from 54 inches to 60 inches. Their overall body length can reach from 93 inches to just under 100 inches.
Again, these numbers can be different from breed to breed, but looking at a cow gives a helpful perception when trying to think about how big a moose is!
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Michael Liggett/Shutterstock.com
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