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*Reindeer Facts *
The reindeer family includes caribou as well as a few smaller subspecies. In fact, reindeer and Caribou are very similar, although reindeer are domesticated and caribou are wild.
Reindeer are found in the arctic and subarctic regions of North America, Europe and Asia.
Reindeer have thick, multi-layered fur that is specially suited for the harsh arctic climate where they live. It even covers their noses.
Adult reindeer have tendons in their legs that click when they walk so they can find the herd during a blizzard.
Male reindeer can sometimes weigh as much as 700 pounds. Females are smaller, weighing only about 350 pounds.
Male reindeer are called bulls and females are called cows. Baby reindeer are called calves.
Reindeer typically have a lifespan of around 10-15 years.
Reindeer and caribou are the only deer species in which both the male and females and babies grow antlers.
Reindeer shed and regrow their antlers every year.
Reindeer eat mostly lichen, grasses, willow and birch leaves. However, they are not picky eaters, and will eat any vegetation they can find in the tundra. They have been known to eat bird eggs and sometimes even mushrooms.
Reindeer have an excellent sense of smell. Because food is scarce in the Arctic, reindeer use their great sense of smell to detect food buried deep beneath the snow.
Reindeer use their big hooves to shovel into the snow to find food just like their cousin the caribou. Which is how the Caribou got it's name! "Qalipu" is the Micmac Indian word they called them, which means "to shovel."
Reindeer milk is used for drinking in some parts of the world.