What caused this moose foot/hoof to grow so strangely?
An Example of a Deformed Moose Foot
I just bought this extraordinary old moose foot from an older man who's friend had made it into an ash tray? (Photo not supplied) I was told by the seller that the antlers on this same moose were so large and with such a large spread that his friend made the antlers into a chair that could seat three people side by side. With this strange toe/hoof I would think this moose suffered and had a hard time walking. Yet it seems to have grown large and lived at least a fairly long time. Anything else you can tell me about this?
Copper can play a large part in moose hoof development (Flynn et al. 1977). When moose are copper deficient, such as has been documented in the Kenai Peninsula deformities or faulty keratinization will occur.
With this type of deformity, moose find it difficult to travel and during winter snow can ball or load on the hoof making travel that much more difficult. Although moose can survive with this deformity on their hooves, this can easily lead to predation as the moose are unable to avoid or escape predators.
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