Fun Reindeer Facts For Kids

Divya Raghav
Oct 27, 2022 By Divya Raghav
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Deeti Gupta
Reindeers are real animals and not cartoon characters, these animals are the deer species that live in snow-covered winter areas like the northern Arctic ranges.

The Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) is also called Caribou in North America. These wildlife animals have long antlers, both for males and females. The Reindeer shed their antlers from time to time so that the antlers can grow larger than the previous time.

Reindeer are social animals who permanently live in groups known as herds. These are harmless wild creatures mainly found in cold regions away from humans, which is why they are commonly referred to as winter Reindeer.

Here on our page, we have lots of interesting facts on Reindeer that everyone will enjoy. Let's have a look at the following exciting Reindeer facts. Do also try our leopard seal and fennec fox facts.

Reindeer Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Reindeer?

Reindeer and Caribou are subspecies of the same species which belong to the deer family, except with large antlers.

What class of animal does a Reindeer belong to?

A Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) belongs to the class of mammals and the Cervidae family. These are the same species of the deer family, but with large horns or antlers, and unlike deer species, Reindeer prefer to live in cold climates.

How many Reindeers are there in the world?

According to scientific research, the largest populations and herds of Reindeer are in Russia, with a range of 400,000-1,000,000 Reindeers, while the second-largest herds of 28,000-385,000 reindeers are in Canada. Reindeer populations are listed as the status Vulnerable as their numbers are decreasing fast, and they are close to becoming endangered.

Where does a Reindeer live?

Reindeer is a close species of the deer family that live in the tundra region and grass plains, but Reindeers primarily live in cold winter, snowy regions. A Reindeer cannot live outside the cold air, winter climate, and snow regions.

That is why they are mostly found in North America, Canada, Europe, Russia, and Alaska, closer to the northern Arctic zones.

What is a Reindeer's habitat?

Reindeers prefer to dwell in the winter snow climate areas like Alaska, Europe, North America, and Northern Asia. These animals like to reside in the mountain range, the Arctic tundra, and the woodland habitat. These animals have only been domesticated in Europe.

Who do Reindeers live with?

Reindeers are social animals who always live in groups called herds. They travel, rest, feed in a group of at least 10 Reindeer to the few hundred. Their group becomes a lot bigger in the spring season and often goes on to become thousands in number.

How long does a Reindeer live?

The average lifespan of a wild adult Reindeer or Caribou is about 15 years, but they can live to 20 years in captivity. The lifespan of males is less than females. They live up to 4 years less than females.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season of a Reindeer starts in late September and lasts until early November. During this season, males battle for females with their Reindeer antlers.

The male Reindeer who wins the battle can choose as many as 15 females for mating. After the mating process is finished, the female goes to an isolated place to give birth to a baby calf. The gestation period of a female Reindeer is around 228–234 days.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of Reindeer and its subspecies is given the status of Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It means that if the populations of Reindeer continue to decline, they will have to be given the status of Endangered species.

This animals' population is close to being considered endangered as they are found only in some snow-covered regions like the arctic tundra, northern Asia, or North America.

Reindeer Fun Facts

What do Reindeers look like?

Reindeers are deer species that are the same size as an average deer, except they have grey-white color skin or sometimes a little brown with it. Adult Reindeer, both male Reindeer and female Reindeer, keep their antlers long and steady, unlike the deer species in which only the male deer grow antlers and not the female ones.

Their coat comes in two layers, the undercoat fur and long-haired overcoat, which helps keep their body warm.

Reindeer antlers fall off once a season, which allows them to grow antlers that are stronger and steadier. They also have large four-toed hooves to help them navigate through the snow.

Reindeers grazing in snow

How cute are they?

Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) are cute and adorable. Winter Reindeer are grey-white covered with underfur. They are also famously depicted by Rebert Lewis May, whose rendition of Santa's Reindeer, popularly called Rudolph the red-nosed Reindeer, is loved and cherished by all across the world.

How do they communicate?

Reindeers, also called Caribou, are the most vocal species in the deer family. Reindeer communicate with each other through grunts and produce different sounds similar to the barks of a dog.

These wildlife creatures also communicate through their body language. They make use of these vocal and visual displays to find their herds, partner, or to communicate for calf recognition, mating information, and defense against intruders.

How big is a Reindeer?

A Reindeer is ten times bigger than a common dog. A Reindeer's height can be around 85-150 cm tall, and their length can be around 162–205 cm (64–81 in) for females and 180–214 cm (71–84 in) for males as they are usually bigger and stronger than females.

How fast can a Reindeer move?

A wild Reindeer is a creature who, unlike Santa's Reindeers in December, cannot fly but can move and run very fast. Its body is covered with underfur from head to hooves; even their noses are covered with underfur. Reindeer travel and run up to 50 mph (80 km per hour).

How much does a Reindeer weigh?

A reindeer's weight varies from anywhere between 80–120 kg (180–260 lb) for females and 80–120 kg (180–260 lb) for males. Males are larger and heavier than females.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Male Reindeer are also known as the bull or sometimes stag, while female Reindeer are called cow. These are named bulls and cows because the male Reindeer are larger than a bull with stronger hooves and large antlers.

What would you call a baby Reindeer?

A baby Reindeer is also called a young Reindeer or a calf. A baby Reindeer does not have any outer furs like an adult when they are born. They are born spotless, and for this reason, the mother Reindeer can quickly identify her child in the wild.

What do they eat?

A Reindeer is a herbivore animal whose typical food is leaves, grasses, herbs, mosses. They also feed on shoots and shrubs of a plant and trees. They need to stay hidden from predators like wolves and bears during December when winter comes. Reindeer calf may also be hunted by Sea Eagles or Golden Eagles.

Are they dangerous?

Reindeers do not harm humans intentionally. Sometimes, they can even let you touch them, but attempting to touch a wild Reindeer is not advisable as, at the end of the day, they are still wild animals who may react unexpectedly.

Would they make a good pet?

A Reindeer, although generally harmless, may not be the best pets to have as they grow large, and their natural habitat is not something we would want to live in.

Did you know...

The sense of sight and hearing of a Reindeer is not the best, and therefore they mainly rely on their sense of smell.

Reindeers are popular after the depiction of Rudolph the red-nosed Reindeer, one of Santa's Reindeer that helps Santa deliver gifts to all good children.

Reindeer can jump pretty high and and far, although a specific figure is not recorded.

What is the difference between deer and Reindeer?

The difference between deer and Reindeer is that both genders of the Reindeers have large antlers while the deers, only the males, have antlers and not the females. A Reindeer also prefers to live in wintery regions, while the deers prefer to live in opposite environments like warm grasslands or plains.

How to draw a Reindeer?

Drawing a Reindeer is very easy. First, we have to draw an oval in the middle of the page as it can be its nose, then a large half oval for its head, and one more oval under its nose for its mouth area.

Now draw two eyes inside the head right above the nose and a small mouth in the mouth area. Draw two curved lines above the crown, this will be their antlers and then ears on the side of the head. You can finish the antlers with squiggly lines and then draw the Reindeer's legs with hooves under them.

Your cute little Reindeer is now ready. Be proud!

What is an amazing fact about Reindeer?

Rudolph the red-nosed Reindeer is a hugely famous myth that every child is aware of; one where Santa Claus distributes gifts to children, and Reindeer pull Santa's sleigh on the night of Christmas Eve. Some of Santa's Reindeer names are Dasher, Cupid, Comet, and Vixen.

But Reindeers do indeed possess red noses sometimes. Under certain harsh conditions, Reindeers develop red noses using their blood vessels in their nose to help regulate their body temperature.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including musk ox, or plains zebra.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Reindeer coloring pages.

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Written by Divya Raghav

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

Divya Raghav picture

Divya RaghavBachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

With a diverse range of experience in finance, administration, and operations, Divya is a diligent worker known for her attention to detail. Born and raised in Bangalore, she completed her Bachelor's in Commerce from Christ University and is now pursuing an MBA at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore. Along with her professional pursuits, Divya has a passion for baking, dancing, and writing content. She is also an avid animal lover who dedicates her time to volunteering for animal welfare causes.

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Fact-checked by Deeti Gupta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Deeti Gupta picture

Deeti GuptaBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

A detail-oriented fact-checker with a research-oriented approach. Devika has a passion for creative writing, she has been published on multiple digital publishing platforms and editorials before joining the Kidadl team. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from St.Xavier's College, Deeti has won several accolades and writing competitions throughout her academic career.

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