Is Rudolph the reindeer actually a she?! Interesting facts about Reindeer!

By Simple Happy Kitchen news team |
December 29, 2021

Yes, ‘tis the season to be talking about the mammals who best represent the season: Reindeer! Reindeer have always been an inseparable part of Xmas, but what do you really know about them? Spoiler: They can’t actually fly. But as you’ll soon find out, they’re really cool nonetheless! 

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a female raindeer and a cashew nut with antlers
  • Some people tend to think that reindeer and caribou are one and the same but that’s not exactly true. They are the same species for sure, but caribou are long-migrating and have never been domesticated, while reindeer are slightly smaller and were domesticated about 2,000 years ago in Eurasia.
  • Both male and female reindeer grow antlers, unlike most deer species. And some antlers they are! Compared to their body size, they have the largest and heaviest antlers of all living species!
  • Which brings us to a really fun fact: male reindeer actually shed their antlers at the end of the mating season, which happens in early December. They don’t grow back until the following spring. So the famous reindeer carrying Santa’s carriage are likely all female! Girl power to the max.
  • Reindeer are covered in hair from the nose to the bottom of their hooves. The hairy hooves help them when it comes to walking on a frozen or snowy ground. The hairy noses also serve a purpose: it helps to warm up the cold air before it enters their lungs. 
  • Reindeer live primarily in the Arctic, where winter is drastically colder and darker than the summer. So in the winter, their hooves become harder and sharper and their eyes change color! Adapting to the darkness of winter, their eye color changes from golden to blue
  • Reindeer are the only deer species to be widely domesticated. In Sweden, Finland and Russia, reindeer herding has been a major part of the heritage and economy for millenia. The  indigenous communities raise reindeer for income, food, clothing and more.
  • Reindeer are currently considered to be a vulnerable species according to the IUCN, mainly because of climate change, over-hunting and industrialization. 
  • Not really a real reindeer fact but Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, written in 1948, is one of the biggest-selling Christmas songs of all time.

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