Thursday, 24 July 2014

Today’s Evolution Story: Fighting Causes Moose to Evolve Big Antlers

A new evolution story features the moose. Image courtesy of USDA Forest Service.

Joel Kontinen

There seems to be no end in sight for Darwinian just so stories attempting to explain why animals have a certain feature.

The latest fable is about the moose. According to New Scientist,

Moose are the largest species of deer in the world. Males are up to 40 per cent heavier than females. During spring the males also grow the largest antlers of any living animal.

The males' size and antlers have evolved because they compete so furiously for females

While evolution-of-the-gaps might be a popular explanation, in attempting to explain everything, it does not actually explain anything.

Some stories border on the weird.


Marshall, Michael. 2014. Zoologger: Moose dribble turns off grass's toxic defences. New Scientist (23 July).