Crazy Alphabet Challenge (with a twist): the letter O: Orignal

source of the photo above:

For this post I was torn between the « otarie » or eared seal and the « onagre » or « hémione » or onager (in English) which is a wild ass. But I finally decided to talk and introduce you to the « orignal » (North American specifically French Canada) or European (more so in Siberia and Scandinavia) « élan » which in English is called a “moose” or “elk”. 

The « orignal » or « élan » (moose) is the largest of the of the Cervidae family, the deer family. Below you can clearly see in the pictures the difference between a deer (cerf), a reindeer or (caribou or renne) and the moose (orignal). 

The first picture is of a North American deer: Here you can see that the deer’s antlers are not as flat and as big as the moose’s antlers. The deer family is also much smaller with a more pointed nose than a moose’s head and nose.

Now here is the « caribou » or reindeer: Here you can note that the caribou does have the same hanging piece of skin underneath its neck as the moose (which is called aptly a “bell”) but that its antlers (although sometimes longer) are not as wide and flattened as the « orignal » (moose).The face and the snout of the reindeer is also smaller than the snout of the moose.

And now another picture of a moose with a clearer view of its antlers: look at how wide its antlers are compared to the deer and the caribou or reindeer. In fact only the males have antlers and these alone can weigh as much as 29 kilograms (65 pounds)

The « orignal » is often called the giant of the forest. Yes it is an impressive animal with a height of 1.4 to 2.1 meter high (4.6 to 6.9 feet) and a length from 2.4 to 3.2 meters (7.9 to 10.5 feet). The moose can weigh anywhere between 380 to 700 kilograms (838 to 1543 pounds). As such you cannot mess with a moose especially males more so during the fall (reproductive season) and even a female because she will protect her young one ferociously. 

Most moose are solitary animals whether they be males or females. They eat mostly vegetation whether on land or under water. An amazing fact about the moose is that first off they are excellent swimmers and they can dive as much as 5 meters (16 feet) to find vegetation to eat and they can stay immersed for up to one minute.  

The habitat range is in North America (more so Canada than the U.S.) and also Europe. Below is a geographical map of the habitat range of the « orignal » or moose.

A moose’s worst foes are the grey wolf, bears and humans. Yes the « orignal » or moose has been hunted since the beginning for their meat and skin and antlers as trophy… 

The origin of the word « orignal » comes from a Basque word « oreinak » pronounced « orejnak ». Samuel de Champlain always called these big beasts « orignac » as he copied this name from the Basques who often came over from Europe to hunt whales. Eventually, the last part « ac « was changed to a more familiar ending of « al » like «cheval « (horse). 

Such is the letter O for this alphabet challenge with a twist of French. See you again I hope for the letter P coming up soon. 

What do you think?

7 points

Written by HistoryGal

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    • A moose in indeed an impressive and massive animal. But deers are very pretty and not as big. As a matter of fact for the past two months we have often seen deers (with and without antlers) cross the path just behind our back patio door. That was quite the sight. They would often just look at us with very placid eyes and expressions and did not seem scared but that was because we were behind the window pane. Tasha, my last dog, came upon a deer nose to nose and there was no barking from her and no jarring from the deer. It was precious to see… Thanks for dropping in and commenting and up voting. I am very happy to see that you can post now. I hope it continues…

    • It is too bad you do not have moose or « orignal » in your country but it is also an advantage as they do cause damage to cars instead of vice versa most of the times… Thanks for reading and commenting and up voting…

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