Imagine this, you and your family have just polished off a cracking Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, and as you settle down on the sofa, you snuggle next to your Nan and impress her with your extensive and remarkable knowledge of Reindeer.
Random, yes, but also very festive, and the perfect way to keep the old dear happy on Christmas day; all of a sudden she’ll think you’re some kind of genius and BOOM ‘favourite grandchild’ status is granted.
Everything You Never Realised You Wanted To Know About Reindeers
Here are 10 short facts to make you the most well informed Reindeer expert on the block.
Dasher Fact 1
Reindeer are the only species of deer where both the males and females have antlers.
They are used for battling other Reindeer in the fight for food and mates. Male Reindeer lose their antlers every winter, whereas the females keep theirs until the spring so that they can challenge other females for food while they’re pregnant.
Dancer Fact 2
Reindeer are surprisingly fast; a small calf can easily outrun a human. Fully grown males and females are one of the fastest mammals on land. Usain Bolt eat your heart out!
Prancer Fact 3
To beat the chilly winter, a Reindeer’s facial hair grows long enough to cover their mouths meaning they can avoid frostbite while rummaging for food in the snow. My Nan does the same thing; except she doesn’t graze and it’s not just for winter.
Vixen Fact 4
Reindeer are great swimmers! Their thick coat of hollow hairs keeps them warm in the freezing waters but also acts as a kind of natural life jacket, giving them buoyancy.
Comet Fact 5
A fully grown bull (the male of the species) usually grows to around 3 or 4 foot high and can weigh up to 28 and a half stone (400 lbs). The cows (females) are a little smaller.
Cupid Fact 6
There are very few Reindeer living wild anywhere in the world now, they have grown to be domestic animals and any that are found to be wild have usually been descended from escaped domesticated reindeer. If only I lived in a bigger flat…
Donner Fact 7
No other animals except for Reindeer can grow new antlers every year. A male’s antlers fall off after they have finished fighting other males for the attention of the females in mating season and females fall off after they have had their babies in the spring.
Blitzen Fact 8
A super strong sense of smell means that reindeer can sniff out food buried 60cm beneath the snow. Not too impressive, I reckon I could do the same with chocolate.
Ruldolph Fact 9
Reindeer live for snow. Their bodies naturally adjust to the cold temperature by dropping the temperature in its legs so that they can keep the rest of their body more consistently warm, so they’re very comfortable in the cold and icy conditions.
And one for luck…
Wild Reindeer used to roam Scotland until they were hunted to extinction in around 1200AD. Remains found by Archaeologists show that 10,000 years ago you could have found wild Reindeer all over the UK.