(Moose classification, taxonomy and naming)

Moose Definition & Naming

The origin (etymology) of the word MOOSE is thought to be from "mus" or "moos" of the Algonquian (North American Indian) family of languages thought to mean 'eater of twigs' or 'he strips off the bark'.

The actual dictionary entry for MOOSE is :-

Moose Classification

The image on the right shows a breakdown of the levels of classification that make the moose unique.

The latin or scientific name for the moose is Alces alces.

This is divided further into subspecies with subtle differences in appearance and distinguished by their geographical location, including 4 in North America, 1 in Europe and 1 in Asia. They are listed below in the order they were first classified :-

(A. alces alces)
   ... European elk (1758 - Linnaeus)

(A. alces americana)
   ... Eastern Canadian (Taiga) moose (1822 - Clinton)

(A. alces cameloides)
   ... Siberian moose (1867 - Milne-Edwards)

(A. alces gigas)
   ... Alaskan (Yukon / Tundra) moose (1899 - Miller)

(A. alces shirasi)
   ... Shiras (Wyoming) moose (1914 - Nelson)

(A. alces andersoni)
   ... Western Canadian (Manitoba) moose (1950 - Peterson)

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