Reindeer Amazing Facts

30 Amazing and Interesting Facts about Reindeer | Amazing Facts 4U 

  1. Reindeers are the only deer in which male and females both have antlers though these are larger in the males than females and only some females have them.
  2. Reindeer are the only mammals that grow new sets of antlers annually.
  3. They live in huge herds as both resident and migratory populations.
  4. Reindeer stand about four feet high at the shoulder. Adults weigh about 100 to 120 Kg.
  5. As summer approaches, many reindeer herds of tens or even hundreds of thousands head north along well-trodden annual routes.
  6. Amazingly reindeers migrate the furthest of any terrestrial mammal, traveling up to 5,000 km a year.
  7. During migration, herds of cows (females) leave several weeks before the males, who follow with yearling calves from the previous birthing season.
  8. Normally travelling about 20–55 km a day while migrating, the reindeer can run at speeds of 60–80 km/h.
  9. At the end of their journey, they spend the summer feeding on the abundant grasses and plants of the tundra. In these rich grounds, an adult reindeer can eat 5 kg of food each day.
  10. Reindeers make a clicking sound as tendons in their feet stretch across their foot bones. This helps them to stay together even in a blizzard.
  11. Cows have one calf each year after a gestation period of seven to eight months.
  12. Babies can stand after only a few minutes. They can run several miles a couple of hours of birth with mother.
  13. Reindeer milk is possibly the richest milk produced by any terrestrial mammal, at 20 percent fat.
  14. When the first snows fall each year, they turn back south to spend the winter in more sheltered climes and survive by feeding on lichens.
  15. Reindeer have a strong sense of smell, and it’s that sense of smell that assist them in finding the lichen under the snow. They can sniff out the plant material easily, even though snow that is 60 centimeters deep.
  16. It is amazing that reindeer changes eye color in summer and winter. In summer, the golden glow of reindeer eyes is due to the light-reflecting tapetum lucidum (a mirrored layer situated behind the retina). But in the fading light of winter, the tapetum undergoes a complex transformation that changes the type of light it can reflect and also gives it a blue appearance.
  17. Reindeer thrive in cold climates. They have hooves that allow them to easily walk on snow and ice unlike deer and moose.
  18. Their hollow hairs give them extra insulation from the extreme cold and give increased buoyancy allowing them to easily float.
  19. Reindeer hooves expand in summer when the ground is soft and shrink in winter when the ground is hard.
  20. Reindeer feet are the widest of feet any deer which helps in walking on ice.
  21. Reindeer have large hooves that are big enough to support the animal’s bulk on snow and to paddle it efficiently through the water. The hoof’s underside is hollowed out like a scoop and used for digging through the snow in search of food. Its sharp edges give the animal good purchase on rocks or ice.
  22. A reindeer can swim at speeds up to 10 km/h and migrating herds will not hesitate to swim across a large lake or broad river.
  23. When temperatures become frigid, they have the amazing ability to lower the temperature in their legs to near freezing levels. This keeps their core body heat even.
  24. For winter grazing they grow their facial hair long enough to cover their mouths, protecting their muzzles from the snow.
  25. Amazingly reindeer have no internal body clock. The animals are missing a “circadian clock” that influences processes including the sleep-wake cycle and metabolism. This enables them to better cope with the extreme Arctic seasons of polar day, when the sun stays up all day, and polar night, when it does not rise.
  26. Just recently it has been discovered that reindeers are the only mammals hat can see ultra violet light. While human vision cuts off at wavelengths around 400 nm, reindeers can see up to 320 nm. Reindeer see things in the glowing white of the Arctic that they would otherwise miss.
  27. The Grey Wolf and bear are the most effective natural predator of adult reindeer, especially during the winter. Golden eagles prey on calves and are the most prolific hunter on calving grounds.
  28. To the Sami, the indigenous people of northern Finland, reindeer are important animals both in their culture and for sustenance. They have approximately 400 words for the food, tools and other products and parts related to reindeer.
  29. Reindeer have been in retreat from humans for decades and numbers are plummeting around the world.
  30. Several groups of indigenous Arctic and Subarctic people hunt wild reindeer and herd semi-domesticated reindeer for meat, hides, antlers, milk and transportation.

By Amazing Facts 4U Team

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