When we think of reindeer, we think of Rudolph and his bright red nose, if you’d like to know some interesting facts about reindeer, read on.

  1. The Latin name for reindeer is rangifer tarandus.
  2. In North America, reindeer are commonly known as caribou.
  3. Caribou is French, meaning ‘snow shoveller’.
  4. They are generally native to Arctic and Subarctic regions.
  5. Both genders grow antlers.
  6. The antlers of an adult male fall off in December, whereas the young males lose theirs early spring. Females will lose theirs in the summer.
  7. The antlers grow back each year under a fur called ‘velvet’.
  8. Males lock their antlers and fight for the right to mate with females.
  9. Reindeer can be hunted for their antlers, hides, meat and milk.
  10. Not only are they hunted, but they can be domesticated.
  11. It is believed that domesticated reindeer have been around since the Bronze and Iron Ages.
  12. Male bull reindeer can measure up to 214cm, and can weigh up to 700lb.
  13. Female reindeer can measure up to 205cm, and weigh 260 lb.
  14. The Svalbard reindeer suffer from insular dwarfism.
  15. Northern reindeer, such as the Peary caribou, have white fur, whilst the Southern types, such as Woodland caribou, have darker fur.
  16. Their fur is made up of two coats: a woolly undercoat, whilst the overcoat has hollow air-filled hairs.
  17. A reindeer’s hoof can adapt to the seasons.
  18. They can travel up to 5000km a year.
  19. It is thought that they are the only mammals able to see ultraviolet light.
  20. Reindeer are herbivores and have four chambered stomachs.
  21. Young or sick reindeer are often targeted by predators, such as wolves.
  22. The meat of a reindeer can be eaten, along with almost all of the internal organs.
  23. Father Christmas’ sleigh was pulled by magical flying reindeer.
  24. The most famous reindeer is Rudolph, who has a bright red nose.
  25. Father Christmas’ reindeer are: Blitzen, Comet, Cupid, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Vixen.