Muskox lounging on the tundra
Muskox (Ovibos Moschatus)
The survival story of muskox could not have been penned without the aid of modern men. Muskox are believed to have migrated into North America anywhere from 200,000 to 90,000 years ago during the Pleistocene epoch. These mammals survived in the tundra until nearly 100 years ago when they quietly slipped into extinction from northern Alaska, only to be reintroduced in the 1970s.
Known to Alaskan Inupiat Eskimos as "omingmak" (the bearded one), muskox are well insulated with a wool known as "qiviut," which is hidden under their dark, shaggy coats. The main diet of the roaming muskox consists of dried sedges and grasses.
Muskox are a part of the Alaskan subsistence lifestyle and locals still use their hides and qiviut for making yarn and eat their meat.
Muskox are characterized by their short legs, shaggy coats, bison-like appearance, and their parted, curving horns. Their main predators are wolves and humans and they are known for their defensive strategy of forming a ring against attackers.