26 Dec Unusual Animal of the Week: Reindeer
This week’s ‘Bizarre Animal’ is the reindeer, an animal notably associated with this time of year for its reported ability to fly and guide Santa’s sleigh. But can reindeer really fly?
Typically, reindeer are land-based creatures of the caribou family – a type of deer found in the arctic and sub-arctic regions of North America. They are recognizable by their long antlers, but can greatly vary in color and size depending on their sub-species and gender.
Speaking of sub-species of reindeer, the arctic reindeer are highly interesting because they have the unique ability to see light at a threshold below that of humans. This allows them to be able to see objects that might otherwise blend into their surroundings, such as snow, to our own eyes. Studies have also shown that their eyes change color based on the season, in order to help them detect predators more easily.
Pretty cool, huh?
As far as diet goes, most reindeer typically eat moss and lichen, but have been shown to eat rodents and other small animals when the need arises.