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Survival / Nunavut Muskox - A Division of the Nunavut Development Corporation

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Muskox have changed little since the ice age and are perfectly adapted to survive the Canadian Arctic.

These massive animals have thick coats with many layers insulating them against the freezing winds that can blow for hours and days during an Arctic winter snowstorm. To stay protected, they will huddle together forming a circle and wait for the weather to pass. The hunt for food during winter months becomes more difficult since the only readily available food source is pine needles, which are difficult for the animals to digest. This often results in starvation and fewer calves being born in the spring.

Mother nature is not the only factor the muskox have to contend with. Predators and parasites can also have devastating impacts on muskox populations. When threatened by a wolf or grizzly bear, the muskox herd will form a defensive circle facing outward, with the calves protected inside. With their heads and horns held low, they can charge at anytime without warning and are often successful at protecting themselves against these predators.

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Page Last Updated: October 25, 2013 Copyright 2006 Nunavut Development Corporation
Interesting FactsDescriptionSurvivalThe Cycle of LifeCanadian Populations