Facts About Reindeer

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“Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer” is the very first thing that comes to the mind when we speak about reindeers. These are traditional creatures and there are so many fascinating things to know about them. They have a long history in culture and myth for which people are so interested to know about these unique creatures.

Fact 1 Homes of Reindeer

Reindeer are the traditional creatures belonging to the northern tundra regions of Europe.  They are seen grazing in their native Lapland region that lies in the Arctic Circle, north of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Northwest Russia. They are also found in Scandinavia and Siberia.

Fact 2 Different species of Reindeer

Reindeer and Caribou are two names of same species. Reindeer is referred to those creatures that are domesticated and live in herds with humans. They are used to draw sledges. Such reindeer are found mostly in Siberia and Scandinavia. These have smaller and shorter legs compared to the caribou which are wild reindeer species. The largest is the Finnish forest reindeer that measures nearly 240cm in length from the snout or the “Red Nose” to the tail. These have longer legs than the other species. The size and weight of the reindeer vary according to gender and age. The adult caribou or wild reindeer grows about 3 to 4 feet tall and weighs nearly 375 pounds (males) and 200 pounds (females) on an average. Reindeer are mammals.

Fact 3 What Reindeer eat and their nature

All animals adjust themselves according to their habitat. Similarly, reindeer are animals of the snowy areas and feed on certain types of lichens that grow in the sub-arctic climates. These plants have special nutrients that help them to stay warm in the chilly winters. Reindeer have wide hooves and this helps them to dig through the snow for lichens. The pair of antlers grows close to each other that allow them to move about in the woodlands without any hindrances. They are very strong and energetic. A new calf can run extremely fast and are generally more efficient than many of the land animals that are mammals.

Fact 4 Uniqueness of Reindeer

The color of the reindeer eyes change according to the season.

Their coat is especially designed to keep them warm.

The voice of the male reindeer is very loud than the females. There is a small pouch under the skin of the reindeer’s throat and they want to bellow they inflate this pouch.

They have a keen sense of smell and can sniff out plants even through the snow that lies deep below 60 cm. This helps them to find their food under the snow.

Reindeer are the only mammals where antlers are seen in both the males and females. The females retain their antlers till the young ones are born in springtime while male reindeer shed their antlers every winter. Retaining the antlers throughout the winter enables female reindeer to gather food even through competition.

Fact 5 Usefulness of Reindeer

Reindeer were abundant in primitive times. People relied on them for their skins to keep warm, their meat as food and bones to make tools. People living in northern Finland, Sami, value these creatures for their sustenance as well as culture. Reindeer herding and husbandry are special occupations for the residents of that area only.

It appears that reindeer are built to live and survive in the snow. Their bodies can easily adjust to changes in temperature. An amazing ability of reindeer will surely drive you crazy. When the temperature becomes frigid, they lower the temperatures of their legs to near freezing points. This process helps to keep the core warmth of the body evenly distributed.

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