An ox looks like a small bison with a long coat and a large head, and it has curved horns and sharp hooves. Their long warm hair and strong muscles are ideal for the tundra and mountainous terrain that oxen usually call home.

Musk ox are members of the cattle family, although they are not closely related to typical cattle. They are more closely related to bison, but they live in more northern areas than bison and are typically found in the northern parts of Canada and in Greenland. They stand around 4 feet at the shoulders, although their large heads can make them appear much taller. At around 6 feet in length, the hair of the musk ox is the longest of any mammal. Most musk oxen have dark brown or black hair.

The musk ox is a community living mammal. They can live in herds of 10 to 100, depending on the season. The majority of the herd works to protect the young when there are predators, such as hunters and wolves. Their sharp hooves are generally not used for protection but for traction when traversing hilly areas. Their sharp hooves help them walk on ice and on hills.