The Activities Abroad Blog

It’s Reindeer calving season in Finland!

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From seeing the invisible to swimming for miles, these marvellous mammals are full of tricks. Find out some fun facts below!

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1) Reindeer are the only mammals that can see ultraviolet light. This helps reindeer see things in the icy white of the Arctic that they would otherwise miss!

2) Reindeer are built for the cold. Their noses act like little heaters, warming up the air they breathe before it enters their lungs! Their special fur coat traps air, which not only helps provide them with excellent insulation in winter but also keeps them buoyant in water, which is important for travelling across rivers and lakes in the summer.

3) These creatures can't fly, but they can run and swim! At their top speed, reindeer can run 50mph and swim at 6.2 miles per hour! That is fast!

4) Reindeer droppings look like little chocolate balls, sadly they don’t taste like it!

6) Reindeer love company! They travel, feed and rest together in herds ranging between ten to a few hundred.

7) Reindeer that migrate across the mountains have lighter fur and wider antlers; reindeer that travel through forests have darker fur and narrower antlers.

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Amazing Antlers!

1) In comparison to body size, reindeer have the largest and heaviest antlers of all living deer species.

2) Reindeer antlers are the fastest-growing bones in the world. In the summer reindeer antlers can grow at an astonishing 2 cm per day!

3) Unlike horns, reindeer antlers drop off and grow back larger every year!

4) Female reindeer are the only female deer in the world that grow antlers. After giving birth, females lose their antlers. But don’t worry, they grow back fast!

5) Santa's sleigh may be powered by an all-girl team! Male reindeer lose their antlers after mating season around November or early December, but females keep their antlers throughout the winter. This means that Santa Claus' reindeer may have been an all-female crew!

Baby Reindeer grow up quickly!

Most reindeer are born in May or early June, just in time to enjoy the warmest, greenest time of year in Finnish Lapland.

Unlike people, reindeer are born ready for action. A newborn reindeer is usually standing just one hour after birth and can outrun a human when one day old!

A reindeer calf drinks its mother’s rich milk and at one week old, it begins to add vegetation to its diet. By two weeks, it has doubled its birth weight.

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 Image credit: Antti Pietikainen, Harriniva Hotels & Safaris

Read 2748 times Last modified on Thursday, 04 June 2020

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