Musk Ox


The Musk Ox can be found in various locations throughout northern Canada, Greenland, Alaska, Norway, Sweden and Russia. At one point they were eradicated in Alaska, Norway, Sweden and Russia, but have since been successfully re-introduced to some areas in those countries.


Musk Oxen are roaming animals that live in herds. A herd will often remain in a certain range where it will have access to food and water, and will roam within that range throughout the seasons to locate those resources.


Musk Oxen are vegetarian and will eat much of the vegetation that is available in the tundra. This includes willow shoots, lichens, grasses and shrubs.


Musk Oxen will reach lengths between 6 and 7.5 feet and have a shoulder height between 4 and 5 feet. Their weight can vary from 400 to 900 pounds.


Musk Oxen have an outer coat made of long, brown hairs and an inner coat called qiviut which consists of wool. This is a special adaptation that helps the musk ox survive the freezing temperatures of the tundra. Males and females have horns that meet near the center of the skull. Males will grow an additional "boss" across the horns.

Musk Oxen have glands that produce a strong, musky odor that gives the Ox its name.


The rut or mating season for Musk Oxen begins in late summer and early fall. Males will compete for dominance over a harem of females, and a single male will mate with several females. The gestation period will then last approximately 8 months and the female will give birth to one calf in the spring.