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Reindeer

Reindeer Facts

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassMammalia
OrderArtiodactyla
FamilyCervidae
GenusRangifer
Scientific NameRangifer Tarandus
TypeMammal
DietHerbivore
Size1.6-2.1m (63-82in)
Weight60-320kg (132-705lbs)
Top Speed80km/h (50mph)
Life Span12-15 years
LifestyleHerd
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
ColourBrown, White, Tan, Grey
Skin TypeFur
Favourite FoodGrass
HabitatForests close to the Arctic tundra
Average Litter Size1
Main PreyGrass, Herbs, Berries
PredatorsHuman, Bears, Wolves
Special FeaturesDouble layer of thick fur and large antlers of the males

Reindeer Location

Map of Reindeer Locations

Reindeer

The reindeer (also known as the caribou) is found in large herds in the very north of the world. Reindeer inhabit both the Arctic Tundra and the North Pole regions which include parts of North America, Europe and Asia.

The reindeers hooves adapt to the season so in the summer when the tundra is soft and wet, the reindeers footpads become sponge-like in order to get a bigger surface area on the damp group. In the winter, the reindeers footpads shrink and tighten, exposing the rim of the hoof which cuts into the ice and crusted snow to stop the reindeer from slipping.

The changes to the reindeer hooves during the winter enables the reindeer to dig down through the snow to the reindeers favourite food, a lichen known as reindeer moss.

The reindeers coat has two layers of fur, a thick woolly undercoat and a longer-haired overcoat which consists of hollow, air-filled hairs which helps to keep the reindeer warm.

The reindeer travels the furthest of any land mammal with these migrations often containing thousands of reindeer. The caribou of North America can run at speeds up to 50 mph and can travel as many as 3,000 miles a year.The most extensive migrations occur in spring and fall. The largest reindeer migrations take place in the spring and autumn when the reindeer are hungry and in search of food.

The reindeer is often an attempted target for the large predators that exist in the Arctic Circle but the reindeer is very fast and moves in enormous groups so the reindeer is not easy to catch. Arctic wolves, polar bears, brown bears, humans and the occasional shark are amongst those animals that hunt the reindeer.