Sunday, 31 December 2017

Are Santa's Reindeer Males?


By Live Science Staff | December 18, 2017 01:06pm ET

Impossible, scientists say.

Here's why: Here on the ground, male reindeer shed their antlers at the end of the mating season in early December, while females sport their thinner antlers throughout the winter. 

Sounds like Rudolph and the gang were all gals. 

"It appears that way," said physiologist Perry Barboza of the Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska at Fairbanks, who studies reindeer and their closest cousins, caribou. Scientists consider reindeer and caribou the same species.

Santa, turns out, did some savvy hiring of his prancing parade. These antlered deer (Rangifer tarandus) are used to the cold. They live in Alaska, Canada, Scandinavia and Russia, where they graze on tundra plants. So, even though pudgy Santa must bundle himself beneath a red-velvet suit, sleigh-pulling reindeer are naturally covered with hollow hairs that trap in air and keep them well-insulated. Plus, their circulatory systems keep the cooler blood in the reindeer's limbs from drawing heat from the warm blood in their core body.

While all reindeer would be equipped for an Arctic journey, though a flightless one, females might have the edge over their male counterparts.




No comments:

Post a comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails

ShareThis