Caribou are large mammals that live in Arctic and subarctic regions all around the world. Caribou are members of the deer family, Cervidae. Their scientific name is Rangifer Tanandus.
In Europe, caribou are known as reindeer.Caribou live In northern and Arctic regions of North America, Europe and AsiaCaribou are between 1.6 and 2m (5.25 and 6.5 ft.) in length, and 0.8 and 1.5 m (2.6 and 5 ft.) in shoulder height. They weigh between 60 and 300 kg (132 and 661 lb.).
Typically, domesticated reindeer have shorter legs and are heavier than those living in the wild.
Typical caribou habitat includes tundra (land with permanently frozen soil in which few plants can grow) and Boreal forests (northern pine forests).
These cold, harsh environments are home to approximately 2.8 million caribou worldwide. There are fifteen subspecies of caribou. The smallest of these is the Svalbard reindeer, which is found on the Norwegian island group of the same name.
The largest caribou subspecies is the boreal woodland caribou, which is found in Canada and Alaska. (Small populations also exist in Idaho and Washington.)
In 2016, the caribou’s conservation status was changed from ‘Least Concern’ to ‘Vulnerable’.
The reindeer is the only member of the deer family where both the males and females have antlers.
They have hooves. The hooves are concave shaped and are adapted to walking across deep snow.
Female reindeer have shorter antlers but they wear them longer than males. The antlers in females show dominance and they will shed from soon after giving birth to an offspring.
Male reindeer will shed their antlers right after mating season is over.
Apart from competing during mating season, antlers are used for digging snow during their search for food in the winter.. Most subspecies of reindeer migrate. They are known to travel 3,000 miles per year in search of better food sources.
Reindeer are plant based eaters, herbivores. Depending on the season, it’s known to feed on various plants, grass and lichens.
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