Logo of nature.ca - Canadian Museum of Nature.
Logo of Natural History Notebooks.
 
Button: Home. Button: Resources. Button: Notebooks A-Z.
Button: Français.
Home > Mammals > Muskox Next
Text: Mammals.
Muskox
Photo: Muskox, Ovibos moschatus.
Muskox, Ovibos moschatus
More Images »

Where are they found? EuropeGreenlandNorth America

Map of the world.


Muskox bulls reach weights of about 380 kg (835 lb.) and stand up to 1.5 m (5 ft.) at the shoulder. Cows are about 60% of the weight of bulls and stand about 1.2 m (4 ft.) at the shoulder.

Adult males have massive horn bases, which are used in head-on clashes during fights over herd leadership. The sharp horn tips of the adults are used primarily in defence against wolves and polar bears, their only predatory enemies besides humans.

Muskoxen are renowned for their underfur of extremely fine and long hair. This thick undercoat is covered by long guard hairs and protects the muskox during long, cold winters. Humans prize it because it can be spun into very warm and lightweight fabrics.

This shaggy, wild relative of sheep and goats lives in herds on the tundra in the Canadian Arctic. It inhabits eastern Greenland and the Arctic islands of Canada and has been successfully introduced into northern Quebec, western Greenland, northern Europe and Russia, and reintroduced into its former range in Alaska. Near extinction in the early 1900s, thanks to protection from hunting and re-introductions the populations are increasing.

Learn about prehistoric populations.


More Images
Photo: Muskox, Ovibos moschatus. Photo: Muskox, Ovibos moschatus. Photo: Muskox, Ovibos moschatus. Photo: Muskox, Ovibos moschatus. Photo: Muskox, Ovibos moschatus. Photo: Muskox, Ovibos moschatus. Photo: Muskox, Ovibos moschatus. Photo: Muskox, Ovibos moschatus. Photo: Muskox, Ovibos moschatus. Photo: Muskox, Ovibos moschatus.


Looking for photos?

The Canadian Museum of Nature has thousands of unique images reflecting the diversity of the natural world—including the photos and illustrations here in our Natural History NotebooksContact us to learn more!


To cite this page for personal use:
“Muskox”. [Online]. Natural History Notebooks. Canadian Museum of Nature.
Last updated (Web site consulted

Previous
Button: Mammals. Photo: Lion (Panthera leo). Button: Birds. Photo: Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos).
Button: Fish. Photo: Brown trout (Salmo trutta). Button: Reptiles. Photo: Komodo dragon (Varanus komodensis).
Button: Amphibians. Photo: Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeiana). Button: Invertebrates. Photo: House fly (Musca domestica).
Button: Dinosaurs. Illustration: Tyrannosaurus rex. Archive slide: S71-116. Button: Prehistoric. Illustration: Muskox (Ovibos moschatus).
Button: Navigate the World. Illustration: Map of the world.
 
Text: Play the games and interactives from our Mammal Gallery. Logo: Mammal Gallery.

Reproduction Rights    Credits    Explore Nature!    Comments or Questions?

Next Previous Next Previous