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The reindeer, called caribou in North America, lives in the Arctic tundra and sub-Arctic forest regions of Alaska, Canada, Scandinavia, and Russia.
Reindeer Coloring Pages
The size of this herbivore varies according to the geographical area inhabited, and, in general, the populations present at southern latitudes are more significant than their northern cousins.
The male is more imposing than the female and has a shoulder height of 120 cm and a total length of 150-230 cm, while the weight varies between 60 and 318 kg.
The thick fur is a winning weapon against cold Arctic temperatures, and the color varies from dark brown to almost white, typical of the Greenlandic populations.
The hooves are unusually wide and help the animal not to sink into deep snow and while swimming. Rangifer tarandus, moreover, is the only species of deer that has horns in both sexes.
In adult males, these are huge and branched, while females and juveniles show off small and simple antlers. In both cases, the horns fall and are renewed every year.
Reindeer are the longest migrating animals on earth, up to 5000 km per year. Between spring and autumn, the herds move both to escape the icy Arctic cold and in search of new pastures to graze. In case of danger, they can also reach speeds of up to 80 km/h.
They are friendly animals, which, especially during the summer, gather in herds of tens of thousands of individuals with which they “share” the enormous annoyance caused by the swarms of mosquitoes and by the “black flies”, insatiable blood-sucking.
The caribou eats any vegetable and can find food even under the snow thanks to its powerful sense of smell.
During the breeding season, the males stop feeding and dedicate all their energy to the female’s group conquest (from 5 to 15) and to face their rivals. An activity that often leaves them injured and exhausted.
The females give birth every year to only one baby, which weighs 3-12 kg and is very early: at a few minutes of life, it sucks the milk; after an hour, it follows the mother, and within a month and a half it is weaned and grazes vegetables.
Females usually live longer than males, more than 15 years, against an average of fewer than five years. As soon as born, the reindeer is easy prey of bears (Ursus arctos and Ursus americanus) and wolves (Canis lupus).