Reindeer Eyes Turn Blue In The Winter
Reindeer don’t fly, but they do sometimes have red noses. These animals are part of the deer family, or Cervidae, which includes deer, elk, moose, and wapiti. Like others in their family, reindeers have long legs, hooves, and antlers.
Reindeer are also called caribou, depending on their location. They are called reindeer in Europe, but in North America, reindeer refers to Eurasian populations, and caribou refers to wild populations in North America, according to the San Diego Zoo. Reindeer also often refers to domesticated animals, while caribou refers to wild populations.
More Facts About Reindeer
- 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.
- Reindeer eyes turn blue in the winter.
- Some North American caribou migrate over 3,000 miles in a year – more than any other land mammal.
- Northernmost species are much lighter in color than species at the southern end of their range.
- Reindeer have been herded for centuries by several Arctic and Subarctic peoples.
- Golden eagles are the leading predator of caribou calves in the late spring and fall.
- Once the entire body of a reindeer was found inside a Greenland shark (most likely a case of near-shore scavenging, as opposed to a migrating land shark).