Alaska Science Forum: Why is a moose’s nose so big?


A scientist from Ohio once pondered why moose have such big noses.

Why might a scientist from Ohio care? It can tell a person about evolution, says Lawrence Witmer. Witmer is a biologist and professor of anatomy at Ohio University. As part of a study of unusual noses on dinosaurs and modern animals, Witmer and his colleagues examined the enigmatic nose of the moose.

Because moose disappeared from Ohio long ago, Witmer looked farther north for help. He found it in Newfoundland, Canada’s easternmost province. There, workers for the Department of Natural Resources shipped him four frozen heads of road-killed moose.

With mooseheads intact in his Athens, Ohio, lab,

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