Winter’s Hardest Working Mammals – Reindeer!

Throughout history, depictions of these antlered animals are everywhere during the holiday season. But there is so much to learn about these beautiful mammals that have become a wonderful representation of the happiest time of the year – click through for some interesting facts about our antlered friends.

(Sources: National Wildlife Federation & San Diego Zoo)

December 21, 2019
By: Leah Weber

Photo By: Daniel A. Leifheit

Photo By:

Photo By: Copyright, Juan Pelegrín.

Photo By: Thank you for choosing this picture! Wibo de Vries

Photo By: MB Photography

Photo By: Geoffrey Reynaud


Reindeer are also known as Caribou in North America. Caribou used to roam the northern contiguous 48 states in the US, but a 2019 conservation effort captured the last known surviving female. She was re-located to captivity to try to preserve this endangered species.

Northern Dwellers

Reindeer are native to Northern Europe, Asia, Canada, Alaska, and Greenland. And in Finland, all reindeer are part of an owned and managed herd.

We all have Antlers!

Both male and female reindeer have antlers, and they shed them annually! Men lose theirs after mating season, and females lose theirs after giving birth in the Late Spring.

Reason for Rudolph’s Red Nose

Robert Lewis May penned Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in 1939. His inspiration could have been from the fact that reindeer use their noses to heat up the arctic air before it reaches their lungs.

Unlikely Predators

The world’s oldest living vertebrate is the Greenland Shark and in the study of their longevity, scientists found the remains of a FULL REINDEER in its stomach! How you may ask? Perhaps the unsuspecting caribou was grazing a little too close to the arctic shore.

Adventurers by Nature

Not only do Caribou run fast and travel far, but some species can gallop up to 50 miles per hour and migrate up to 3,000 miles a year!

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