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Creature Spotlight: Reindeer

BY EARTHFIRST

Reindeer are beautiful mammals found in large herds in the Arctic Tundra, the North Pole and some regions of North America, Europe and Asia.

Reindeer have the special ability to change their hooves to adapt to different seasons, for example in the summer when the ground is soft from the melted ice their footpads become sponge-like in order to get a bigger surface area on damp ground. In the winter their hooves shrink and harden, so that the rim of the hoof can cut into the ice without slipping. Amazing clever creatures!

Their coats have two layers of fur, the undercoat is thick and wooly and the longhaired overcoat is made up of hollow, air-filled hairs that help to keep reindeer warm and dry.

Reindeer migrate thousands of kilometers every year, and they can run at speeds of 80km per hour (50mph). They are herbivores; who love to munch on grass, fungus, leaves, herbs and berries, and have a life span of 12-15years.

Other facts:

  • They grow new antlers every year.
  • Baby reindeer can walk just an hour after birth and can run faster than a human after only a day!
     

What do you think?


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