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Animal Themes
Mammals
Musk Oxen



Musk Oxen
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.51

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    standing, finding, citadel, testament, woolly, cream-colored, heavily, warning, would-be, downward, warranty, government, outer, revival, view, comeback


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Musk Oxen   

1     The Arctic tundra is one of the harshest places to live on Earth. To survive the bleak winter season, some animals (like reindeer) move away temporarily. Some (like Arctic ground squirrels) take a long nap. Musk oxen, however, choose to do neither. It appears that they don't mind the unpleasant weather and scarce food supply even one bit!
 
2     Well, of course musk oxen (singular: musk ox) don't mind the climate, because their woolly hair comes with an "all weather proof" warranty! Musk oxen wear two layers of coats. The outer layer is made of coarse, dark brown hair that is so long that it almost reaches the ground. The inner layer, in contrast, consists of short, soft, pale brown hair that is replaced once a year around the summer time. As the hair on their outer coats is water resistant, musk oxen don't mind when it rains or snows. Likewise, since the hair of their inner coats is warm, musk oxen are well insulated from the icy temperatures.
 
3     Aside from relying on their woolly coats to provide warmth, musk oxen have another useful feature. They use their hoofed feet to dig out grasses, lichens, and willows buried deep beneath the snow. Thanks to their sharp, hard hooves, musk oxen can travel on the frozen ground with ease and have no problem finding food.

Paragraphs 4 to 5:
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