Legend says that reindeer will pull Santa’s sleigh tonight.
What do we know about real reindeer (Rangifer tarandus)?
Here’s a quiz based on Reindeer: 12 Fascinating Facts About These Amazing Creatures on the National Wildlife Federation website. Click on the 12 Facts link to see the answers and even more information.
a. Reindeer live in Europe, Asia and North America, but on our continent they have a different name. What are they called?
b. Among moose, elk and white-tailed deer, only the males grow antlers. What about reindeer?
c. Reindeer coats change from winter to summer and so do their hooves. What’s different about their hooves and why do they change?
d. “Some subspecies have knees that make a clicking noise when they walk.” What’s the advantage to making this noise? (Do your knees click? Here’s an excuse for it.)
e. Reindeer do migrate and those in North America travel quite far. How far do they go?
f. Reindeer used to live in the Lower 48. Which state? And how long ago was that?
g. Where did we get the idea that reindeer can pull sleighs? Here’s a visual answer.
h. Who is the leading predator of reindeer calves? (Hint: It’s a bird!)
Visit Reindeer: 12 Fascinating Facts About These Amazing Creatures for the answers.
(clipart from Clipart Library; photos from Wikimedia Commons. Click on the images to see the originals)