Reindeer

reindeer

Size

The size of Reindeer can vary somewhat and are usually between 64 and 84 inches long (with males being slightly larger than females). The biggest size difference however is in the weight, because males are far more bulky weighing up to 460 pounds, whilst females do not generally weigh more than 260 pounds.

Habitat and Distribution

historically this species had a very wide range, however it is now found through much of Norway, Finland, Sweden, Siberia, Greenland, Alaska and Canada. In these areas it can be found in various habitats from tundra to forests.

Age

In the wild these animals are expected to live for around 10 years, however captive Reindeer can live for up to 20 years.

Diet

These animals often live in areas with few food sources and their 4 stomachs allow them to get the maximum amount of nutrients from their food. Their feed items include things such as lichen, leaves and grass.

Groups and Breeding

These are herd animals which spend most of their time in small herds, however during the migratory period they will gather in vast herds. Smaller collections of these herds will be made up of around 50,000 animals, but herds of almost 500,000 are claimed to have been seen. Males will rut to determine who gets to breed with the most females in their herd, with the most dominant male often breeding with up to 20 females per year. After a gestation period of 224 days the female will give birth to a single baby, although on very rare occasions twins have been reported.

Threats

This animal is not under threat in its current population partly because much of the areas in which it lives are not suitable land for building or agriculture.

Interesting facts

Both male and female Reindeer have antlers.