Although reindeer do not fly (unfortunately), they do have red noses. They are part of the deer family, which includes elk, moose, and deer.
Like other members of the family, reindeers have antlers, long legs, and hooves. Want to learn more? Sit back and enjoy these fun facts about Reindeer!
1. A reindeer never worries about schedules
Reindeer do not have an internal body clock, which can be utilised effectively for their survival as it helps their sleep-wake cycle and their metabolism deal with long polar nights and days in the region they live in.
2. Reindeer never stop moving!
They are required to travel over huge amounts of terrain when they migrate, and wide rivers are included. Therefore, they have adapted to swim quickly and easily move between 6.5 km/hour (4 mph) and 10km/hour (6.2mph).
3. Reindeer are oddly associated with Christmas
A poem known as ‘A Visit from St. Nicholas’ was the first to associate reindeer with Christmas. It was written by an American named Clement Clarke Moore in 1823. This poem is primarily responsible for the misconceptions today of Santa Claus and his reindeer.
4. Reindeer fur colors really vary!
Peary caribou, a Northern reindeer, have white fur while Woodland caribou, a Southern reindeer, have dark fur.
5. Reindeer really DO have red noses!
A network of blood vessels is the secret to the ‘red-nosed’ reindeer. According to the University of Rochester in New York and scientists in the Netherlands, the reindeer have around 25% more capillaries in the structure of their noses than humans, and they carry oxygen-rich, red blood. The blood flow increases during colder climates, which keeps the surface of the nose warm. The network of blood vessels is also crucial for the regulation of the internal body temperature of the reindeer.
6. Reindeer love chowing down on more than carrots
Reindeers only eat vegetation, as they are herbivores. Their diet consists of grass, fungi, leaves, mosses, and herbs. An adult reindeer eats about 4 to 8 kg of vegetation on average every day. They are required to dig through the snow using their antlers to find food during the winter.
7. It’s rare you’ll see a lone reindeer
As social animals, reindeers travel, rest and feed in groups known as herds. It is believed that these herds are found together from 10 animals to up to a few hundred. This number can get much bigger, of up to 500,000 members, in spring. It is believed that they travel between 1,000 to 3,000 miles to find food in the winter.
8. Reindeer babies develop fast!
The gestation period for female reindeer is around 7 and a half months, and they typically give birth to one calf at a time (although they can have up to 4 at a time). These calves are able to walk after merely an hour after they’re born, and they eat solid food after about a week, in conjunction with their mother’s milk. Reindeers can live up to 18 years.
9. Reindeer vision is super-powered
10. We’ve been hosting reindeer for centuries
It is thought that domesticated reindeers have been around since the Bronze and Iron ages.
11. Male reindeer can outweigh females by double!
A male bull reindeer can weigh up to 700 pounds and can measure up to 7 ft (2.14 meters). A female reindeer, however, are usually smaller as they weigh between 121 to 308 pounds and measure up to 6’7” (2.05 meters).
FAQs about Reindeer
What are the differences between caribou and reindeer?
There are actually no significant differences between reindeer and caribou! They are the exact same animal! However, caribou are from North America whereas reindeer are from Europe and Asia.
Are reindeer dangerous animals?
Reindeer are generally speaking very gentle animals, however, it is not recommended to approach one in the wild, especially during the rutting season!
Are reindeer hunted?
Sadly, yes, even today reindeer are hunted as trophies for gun rooms and hunting lodges. They're hunted for meat and fur, too.
Do you know any fun facts about reindeer? Share them in the comments below!