Rudolph is a Girl (and other things you should know about reindeer)

reindeer

T’was a week before Christmas and all through the house,

Jess was writing about reindeer instead of the mouse.

(Annnd that’s as far as my poetry skills go.)

So with Santa on his way, I thought it was high time to tell you a little bit about reindeer. You know, in case you run out of conversation at your holiday parties, now you can throw out these little tidbits and people will think you are astoundingly intelligent and alluring.

Nothing says alluring like a bunch of ungulate facts. Buckle up!

1. Reindeer and caribou are the same thing. Two words. One beast. Reindeer means ‘horned animal’, and caribou means ‘snow shoveler’, but both words describe the exact same animal. Why we don’t think Santa’s sleigh is pulled by caribou is beyond me.

2. Reindeer are fast. Really, really fast. 50mph fast. Not quite flying fast, but not shabby either.

3. Reindeer can lower the temperature of their legs, to just above freezing. This helps them retain body heat when they’re knee deep in snow. It also makes them BOSS.

4. Reindeer can see ultraviolet light. This is extra cool because, in the Arctic, glare from the snow and dark days with no sun can make it extremely difficult to see food and predators. Things important to reindeer life actually absorb UV light, making them appear black to reindeer. This includes lichen (food), urine (important for knowing who’s around you), and fur (oh hello wolfy). So while other animals often can’t see in those conditions, reindeer are laughing.

5. Rudolph (and all the other reindeer of Santa’s team) are possibly female. It all comes down to the antlers. Take a look.

sleigh

As you can see in this very scientific depiction, every reindeer on Santa’s team has a full rack of headgear. But – plot twist – mature male reindeer actually LOSE their antlers in winter. So Santa’s sleigh is either pulled by a bunch of young males that he keeps replacing as they get older (fickle), OR it is the ladies (with their intact winter antlers) that are doing all the work.

I think we all know the answer to that one. *fist bump to girly reindeer power*

Happy Holidays, all!

 

Comments

  1. Annie McMahon

    You totally made my day! I bet even Santa didn’t know that, or he wouldn’t have called her Rudolph. Haha! Wow, that means you know more than Santa himself about his reindeer. I’m so impressed!

    Reply

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