Reindeer is a species of antelope known in North America as caribou. Reindeer live in the arctic tundra and damp forests of Greenland, Scandinavia, Russia, Alaska, and Canada. This article will discuss about top 16 important and amazing reindeer facts for kids. Which will help kids to get some idea about reindeer in a short time.
Reindeer Facts for Kids
16 cool facts about Reindeer that you will love to know. Here are 16 wonderful reindeer facts for you and also kids.
01. Reindeer or Caribou
The scientific name of reindeer is Rangifer tarandus. The name Rongifera was chosen by Carl Linnaeus for the reindeer genus. Since reindeer are known in North America as caribou, having two different names for one animal can cause confusion. Hence, it is named Rangifer tarandus to give a name to reindeer or caribou.
02. Both Male and Female have Antlers
Reindeer is a species of deer. One difference between them and deer is that both males and females grow antlers. The antlers of male reindeer can grow up to 1.4 meters. Reindeer have no horns. But both male and female reindeer have antlers. At the age of two months, the cubs begin to molt their antlers, which continue to grow each year. From the age of three, the horns begin to fall out and regrow.
03. They are also domesticated
Today, Reindeer are found in the wild and as domestic animals. Reindeer began to be domesticated in northern Scandinavia, Russia, and Iceland around the 18th century. They are domesticated mainly for meat, milk, fur, and antlers. Reindeer milk is more nutritious than milk from other domesticated animals.
04. Their stomach have four chamber
The Reindeer is a mammal. Lichen is the main food of reindeer. They also eat grass, leaves, fungi, mushrooms etc. They have also known as ruminants, mammals. Their stomach have multiple chambers.
05. Reindeer’s gestation period is seven to eight months
The reindeer’s gestation period is seven to eight months. A mother reindeer gives birth to 1-2 cubs in spring. Reindeer cubs weigh 10-11 pounds at birth. They can run soon after birth. Reindeer milk contains a lot of fat that strengthens newborn babies. From the age of one week, the cubs start eating grass with their mother along with milk.
06. Their Eyesight is Poor
Reindeer have poor eyesight and hearing. So reindeer use their sense of smell to navigate and find food. They can make a noise with their knees so that they don’t get lost during snow storms.
07. Reindeer can make a Massive Herd
Some reindeer are solitary like nomads, but most wild reindeer live in groups. A herd normally consists of 10 to several hundred reindeer. However, in spring they can form a massive herd of 50,000 to 5 lakh.
08. They are Good Runner
Reindeer can run well even though they live in arctic snow. They can run 36-48 miles per hour. The natives of the polar regions use reindeer sledding for travel. They also use reindeer sled to carry goods.
09. Their bodies are specially adapted for arctic
The reindeer’s body is specially adapted to survive in harsh cold conditions like snow. Due to the difference in the structure of the legs, they can move in the snow and the long hollow fur helps to trap the body heat. So they can survive even in freezing cold environments.
Their hooves are made in such a way that they contract. In winter, when the ground freezes and hardens, their hooves contract and harden to grip the ice. Again, when the ground becomes damp in summer, the hooves expand and soften to grip the soft ground.
10. Reindeer are Good Swimmer
If wild reindeer come across a reservoir during their migration, they can easily cross it by swimming. Reindeer, like all other mammals, are born swimmers. Adult reindeer can swim at a speed of 6.5-10 kilometers per hour.
11. Among mammals, they do most Migration
Wild reindeer migrate. In winter, they migrate south where it is less cold. Again during summer they migrate northwards. The nomadic reindeer are constantly moving from one place to another throughout the year. North American reindeer travel up to 5,000 kilometers per year. Which is the largest among land mammals.
12. Their noses look Red
Reindeer noses look red because, Small veins around their noses circulate warm blood, which warms the inhaled air and enters the lungs.
13. Male Reindeer are Bigger than Female
Female reindeer are smaller than male reindeer. The average weight of a male reindeer can be up to 250 kilograms.
14. They have a Good Lifespan
The reindeer have a good lifespan. Domesticated reindeer live longer than wild reindeer. The average lifespan of reindeer in the wild is 15 years, while the average lifespan of domesticated reindeer is 20 years.
15. They have many Predators
Humans are the biggest predators of reindeer. Humans hunt reindeer for meat, antlers, fur and fat. After humans, wild bears, wolves, foxes, and eagles are the largest predators of reindeer.
16. Reindeer Conservation Status is Least Concern
They are a species of Least Concern (LC), according to the IUCN. However, due to recent climate change, their habitat is being damaged. Which may be the cause of their extinction in the future. As a result of adverse climate change, it is estimated that 90 percent of their habitat will decrease in the next 60 years.
How about these 16 facts about reindeer? How many of these 16 facts do you know, let me know in the comments box. Also, let me know what else you know about reindeer by commenting.