The muskox is a large, hoofed mammal that lives in Arctic regions. It is part of the Bovidae family, related to bison, sheep and domestic cattle. Muskoxen are herbivores that live in herds, and both males and females have distinctive curved horns. They are large animals that grow up to 5 feet (121cm) tall.
In many parts of the world where muskoxen live, they are protected by law. They are listed as “Least Concern” and have had a stable population since 2008, according to the IUCN Red List.
Since the muskox lives in the arctic, they are well adapted for life in cold temperatures. They have long, shaggy fur that keeps them warm and, in the wintertime, they use their hoofs to dig through the snow to find food. They eat roots, mosses, and lichens that grow in the tundra. In the summertime, they will also eat flowers and grass.
Their natural predators are wolves, bears and man. When threatened, they arrange themselves in a circle with their young in the middle and face their enemy so they can defend themselves with their horns.
Muskoxen are named for the musky odor males produce during mating season, which attracts a mate.