Scientifically known as Rangifer Tarandus, reindeer belong to the deer family and are adapted to extreme cold climates.
Reindeer and Caribou: two names, same animal. In North America, wild ones are Caribou; in Europe, both wild and domesticated are Reindeer
Inhabiting tundra and taiga, some herds travel up to 5,000 km annually, making them the farthest-traveling terrestrial mammal
Winter diet: lichens. They also consume grasses, mushrooms, and leaves. A special enzyme, 'lichenase', helps metabolize lichen
Both genders grow antlers. Dense fur provides insulation against the cold
Males rut in autumn. After 7 months of gestation, births occur in May. Lifespan: up to 17 years
Humans and reindeer have interacted for millennia. Today, industrial activities threaten their habitats.
"Listed as vulnerable by IUCN. Climate change and human activities are major threats
Special genes provide unique traits, like regulating biological clocks and efficient vitamin D use