A Rendezvous With Reindeer
Santa’s preferred beast of burden and a zoological favorite among the young and young at heart, the humble reindeer headlines each December as the North Pole’s crowning critter. Traditional folklore states that a team of reindeers powers Santa’s annual international escapade, but how much additional information about this unique animal is considered common knowledge? Join The StickerTalk on an icy expedition to the Arctic tundra to rub shoulders with the reindeer.
- The magical clicking of a reindeer’s footsteps is actually due to a rather unexpected abnormality. When a certain tendon passes over one of the deer’s foot bones, it produces the reindeer’s characteristic click! Reindeer are extremely social creatures, typically living in herds numbering from 50,000 to 500,000 members, and many experts believe that the sound of clicking hooves help the animals stay together.
- Reindeers boast an armory of assorted oddities that help them survive in their native northern stretches of tundra. Because nights in the Arctic are especially extensive in the winter, reindeers possess the capability to see ultraviolet light, a talent that grants them vision even in complete darkness. Also, their hooves change shape and texture from season to season to allow greater traction during icy winters and better mobility on soft ground in the late spring and summer.
- Although most the vast majority of Christmas commentators claim that Santa’s reindeers are all male, some zoologists contest this belief. Since male reindeer usually shed their antlers in November and early December, the fully antlered reindeers that are hitched to Santa’s sleigh each Christmas Eve are likely entirely female!