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Petwise Blog: Reindeer Games 🦌

The North Pole’s Famous Furry Inhabitants are of course, reindeer, who can also be found in Northern Europe and Asia. In North America, we call them Caribou.

We have two types that reside in Canada: Woodland and Barren Ground Caribou.

Some Caribou even undertake the longest migration of any terrestrial mammal on earth!

This is impressive, considering what their closely related magical friends are capable of on Christmas Eve! An exceptionally large male reindeer can weigh up to 700 lbs, and they have the largest and heaviest antlers of any deer species in the world!

They rely heavily on their powerful nose to help them choose their direction, and Rudolph’s guidance, of course! Their nose is vital in helping them guide Santa’s sleigh. Their reliable noses help them recognize direction. Reindeer also always prefer to travel into the wind so they can pick up surrounding scents. A reindeer’s nose is packed with lots of blood vessels to warm cold air on the way in and soak up the heat from their breath as they breathe out.

Their crescent-shaped cloven hooves give them the perfect tools for traction on those icy takeoffs and landings. They have fur between their hooves and on their nose to keep them warm in the frosty north.

Reindeer can see ultraviolet light, and they are one of the few mammals on the planet that can do so. This helps them find their favorite food, reindeer moss or lichen. This lichen absorbs UV light. It’s a fungi, mosslike plant that grows on bark, soil, on rocks, and even under the snow. It’s easily detected by their powerful, fur-covered nose.

Reindeer and Caribou need to eat about 9 – 18 lbs of fresh vegetation a day to keep their bodies fueled.

In 1823, when Clement Clarke Moore wrote “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” reindeer first started getting the recognition they truly deserve.

Merry Christmas & all the best in this coming new year to you and your family from myself, my family, and all the staff at Petland!

 

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