musk ox

(redirected from muskox)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

musk ox,

hoofed ruminant mammal, Ovibos moschatus, found in arctic North America and Greenland. The northernmost member of the cattle family (though it is not closely related to true cattlecattle,
name for the ruminant mammals of the genus Bos, and particularly those of the domesticated species, Bos taurus and B. indica. The term oxen, broadly used, refers also to closely related animals, such as the buffalo and the bison.
..... Click the link for more information.
), the musk ox grazes on the stunted vegetation of the tundra. It was exterminated in Alaska about the middle of the 19th cent. but was later restored there on Nunivak island. Its stoutly built body, about 4 ft (120 cm) at the shoulder in the male, is covered by a long, shaggy, brown to black coat, which conceals the short tail and the upper part of the short legs. The male has a musky odor during the mating season. The horns are broad and flattened and nearly meet across the forehead at the base. They extend out from the sides of the head, curving downward and then upward in a hook. The hooves are very large and widely splayed, an adaptation to walking on snow. Musk oxen live in herds of 10 to 20 individuals in summer and up to 100 in winter. When in danger the herd forms a circle, horns pointing outward, with the young in the center. The chief enemy of the musk ox, besides Native Americans and Eskimos who hunt it for flesh and fur, is the wolf. The musk ox is classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
..... Click the link for more information.
, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Artiodactyla, family Bovidae.

Musk Ox


(Ovibos moschatus), an artiodactyl of the family Bovidae. The height at the shoulder is about 1.1m, and the body is up to 2.5 m long and weighs up to 300 kg. The musk ox is a massive, short-legged animal, covered with a long, dense, black-brown coat. The neck is short and thick, and the tail is hidden by hair. Both males and females have horns, which are very thick at the base and curved. The musk ox is distributed in Greenland and on islands of the Canadian Archipelago. The species was recently imported into some arctic islands (Spitzbergen, Nunivak, Nelson) and Alaska. In the Pleistocene and, to a lesser degree, in the Holocene, the musk ox was widely distributed in Eurasia and North America. It lives in herds of as many as 20 to 30 animals and feeds on lichens, mosses, and grass. The species mates in August, and, after nine months, a single calf is born. The musk ox is rare, numbering only about 25,000 individuals. The species is under strict protection.


Zhizn’zhivotnykh, vol. 6. Moscow, 1971.

musk ox

a large bovid mammal, Ovibos moschatus, which has a dark shaggy coat, short legs, and widely spaced downward-curving horns and emits a musky smell: now confined to the tundras of Canada and Greenland
References in periodicals archive ?
Right: Dwight used a mouth tab to draw and shoot his bow on his muskox hunt.
NWT has excellent potential to reopen both this caribou and muskox, but at this writing the primary non-resident opportunities are in the Mackenzie District to the west.
In contrast to the other true arctic ungulate, the reindeer Rangifer tarandus, in which many populations undertake extensive seasonal migrations, the muskox is believed to be rather sedentary.
The first year with the compound, I took a deer and muskox with a Magnus Stinger.
For a few of us, it was one last immersion in the summer Arctic potion of mirror lakes, blue ice, and roaming muskox. Nobody was speaking.
The takin is a close relative of the muskox found in mountainous regions of the Himalaya and Western China
Another is qiviuk, the world's most expensive wool, gathered from the Arctic muskox.
He divides the book into three sections, each dealing with the relationship of indigenous people with one of three wildlife species: bison, muskox and caribou.
of Newfoundland) chronicles the tension between Aboriginal subsistence hunters in the Canadian north, and central governments that sought to conserve the wild populations of bison, muskox, and caribou during most of the 20th century.
The recently acquired Thelon properties are of particular interest including the Muskox Hill portion of the Northwest Block where prior exploration identified a hematized fracture zone in gneissic basement rocks close to the Thelon uncomformity which assayed an extraordinary 14.68 per cent U308 from one grab sample.
Nonetheless the high Arctic is home to a diverse collection of birds and mammals, including the polar bear, arctic fox, muskox, lemming, snowy owl, plover and falcon.
The first part, dealing with sulphide-associated PGE occurrences in layered stratiform intrusions, begins with an overview of the geology of the Muskox intrusion and its PGE concentrations, followed by descriptions of the geology, geophysics and PGE discoveries of the Fox River sill and the Mechanic intrusion in New Brunswick.