The reindeer, also known as the caribou in North America, is a species of deer with circumpolar distribution, native to Arctic, sub-Arctic, tundra, boreal, and mountainous regions of northern Europe, Siberia, and North America. This includes both sedentary and migratory populations. Reindeer are prominent in our holiday music and images. They pull Santa’s sleigh, have red noses, have names, and fly. But how much do you really know about this northernmost deer species? The fact that they eat moss because it contains a chemical that stops their body from freezing is extraordinary but we have also found some more interesting facts about these awesome creatures.
- Both males and females grow antlers.
- Their noses are specially designed to warm the air before it gets to their lungs.
- Reindeer hooves expand in summer when the ground is soft and shrink in winter when the ground is hard
- Some subspecies have knees that make a clicking noise when they walk so the animals can stay together in a blizzard.
- Some North American caribou migrate over 3,000 miles in a year – more than any other land mammal.
Do you know anything else about reindeer that you find interesting? Let us know in the comments.