Hi guys! Today I’m going to talk about reindeer, the classic Christmas animal. You can find my post on Book Bliss about reindeer books here.
Reindeer and caribou are classified in the same genus and species, so they’re the same thing. Reindeer have the largest antlers of all deer species. A male’s antlers can get up to 51 inches (130 centimeters) and a female’s can get up to 20 inches (50 centimeters).
Reindeer live in the Arctic Tundra, which includes Alaska, Russia, Canada, Greenland, and Scandinavia.
Because of their cold habitat, reindeer have two layers of fur to keep them warm. The inner layer is soft and warm, and the outer layer is made up of long, hollow hairs that trap heat inside them. The outer layer also gives them buoyancy and helps them float. Reindeer even have fur over their hooves to help them have better traction.
Reindeer are ruminants, or animals that chew their cud, much like cows (although they only have one stomach). They mainly eat foliage like bushes, shrubs, trees, and even moss.
Reindeer are of least concern according to the IUCN Red List, but they are still threatened by many things. Of course, since they live in the Arctic, climate change is taking their toll on reindeer. They are also affected by overhunting. As they are pretty much deer, they are being hunted, and thus their populations are being depleted. There is also industrial development. As more buildings and cities are being built, they are losing parts of their habitat.
Reindeer have natural predators as well. Some of these include: wolves, bears, foxes, and mountain lions. As they move in herds, an adult reindeer is usually safe, but the weaker and younger reindeer are mainly at risk.
I hope you liked learning about reindeer! Here’s my virtual Christmas card from the virtual christmas card swap by Build a Bears Furever . I also posted it on Book Bliss, as it is a joint card.
I hope you have a wonderful holiday season! Just a heads up: I’m still going to do a fun holiday post on Christmas Eve.