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Hooves
& Humps

Reindeer

Reindeer are unique in that they are the only species of deer were both male and female carry branched antlers.

Mature bulls usually shed their antlers shortly after the rut, whereas cows can keep theirs until spring. Their dense coat varies in colours from cream, brown and grey. Their wide splayed hoofs provide support across the snow (snow shoes) and act like paddles when swimming. Reindeer have specialised noses that dramatically increase the surface area within the nostrils. Incoming cold air is warmed by the animal's body heat before entering the lungs, allowing them to live in such cold conditions.

DID YOU KNOW? Both male and female reindeer grow antlers; in other kinds of deer, only males have them. 

Current Status

  • Least Concern
  • Near Threatened
  • Vulnerable
  • Endangered
  • Critically Endangered
  • Extinct in the Wild
  • Extinct

Key Facts

Lichens in winter, especially reindeer moss. Also eat the leaves of willows and birches, as well as sedges and grasses
Cervidae as all deer species, moose and elk
In captivity up to 15 years. In the wild male reindeer have a shorter lifespan than female reindeer, because of the stress of rutting season.
Least Concern
From northern Polar circle, Mongolia and a small part of China
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