Friday, 28 December 2012

Revealed: Rudolph Really Did Have a Red Nose


Most people know Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer had a very shiny nose — but why? Medical researchers say they've now found the answer.

The secret to Rudolph's rosy schnozzle is the dense network of blood vessels in his nose. Reindeer, it seems, have 25 percent more capillaries carrying red, oxygen-rich blood in their nasal architecture than humans, say the scientists from the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and the University of Rochester in New York. 

"In colder climates and also when they are higher up in the atmosphere pulling Santa's sleigh, the increase in blood flow in the nose will help keep the [nose's] surface warm," Dr. John Cullen of the University of Rochester told MedPage Today. The dense network of blood vessels in reindeer noses is also essential for regulating the animal's internal body temperature — like many mammals, reindeer don't sweat.

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