Animal Details

Common Name
Caribou (Reindeer)
Scientific Name
Rangifer tarandus
Geographic Range
Canada, Northern Europe, and Northern Asia
Life Span
15 Years
1 calf

Meet The Animal

Caribou and reindeer are actually the same species-Rangifer tarandus-but there are some minor differences between the two. Caribou are native to North America, whereas reindeer are native to northern Europe and Asia. Some people also use the term “reindeer” to refer to domesticated work animals in North America. Caribou, on the other hand, are wild-living and long-migrating. Caribou are also taller and lankier than reindeer.

Their Behavior

Reindeer are well adapted for life in harsh, cold climates. They have extra blood vessels in their noses that help warm the air they breathe in before it reaches their lungs, keeping their core warm (and also giving it a slight red tint). They also have wide hooves that aid in walking on snow in the winter and swimming through rivers in the summer. Reindeer are the only deer in which males and females both have antlers—though not all females have them. Females have one calf each year, which can stand after only a few minutes and move on with their mother by the next day.

Did You Know?

Due to tendons slipping over the bones in their feet, reindeer make a clicking sound with every step. Click click click!

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