Saturday, 21 December 2013


 Rangifer tarandus  is found across the Northern hemisphere Arctic and Subarctic regions. They are known as Reindeer in Scandinavia and Northern Russia.  They are called Caribou in North America and Canada. 
 Both sexes grow antler, which is unique amongst deer species.  The females tend to have smaller and thinner antlers than the males.  Large males can have antlers that extend across half the length of their backs. Older larger males will shed their antler throughout December, so by Christmas there will be few reindeer with large antlers.  The younger males and females with smaller antlers shed from mid Spring to Summer.
 Our local garden centre, like many, have a selection of Reindeer in a compound.  These are often accompanied with a "Santa's Grotto" where children can meet a representative of the man himself.  These reindeer are exclusively females, or very young males as they are the ones that still have antlers.
The thing that most fascinates me about Reindeer is the size and spread of their hooves.  These are animals that have evolved to move on snow and tundra.

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