OK, nobody really wants Grandma to get run over by a reindeer, but the song is so much fun we couldn’t resist!
Reindeer have a special place in the hearts and minds of people all around the world, even though they typically live in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions of North America and Europe. Reindeer are also known as caribou, and they’re related to elk and deer.
Reindeer have been a source of food, clothing, shelter and tools for tribal cultures dating back to the Stone Age. As semi-domesticated animals, they have even served as transportation in some cultures – kind of like a really exotic pony or horse.
Only in modern times have reindeer been associated with St. Nicholas (AKA Santa Claus), thanks to Clement C. Moore’s 1832 poem, “A Visit from Saint Nicholas”. Rudolph is a relative newcomer to the mix, having made his debut in the 1939 children’s book, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”.
Both male and female reindeer have antlers, so it can be difficult to tell them apart. Males shed their antlers in winter or spring, and females (which tend to be slightly smaller than males) shed theirs in the summertime. Since Santa’s reindeer are typically pictured with antlers, they are most likely all girls!
The Question of Reindeer Super Powers
OK, when it comes to super powers, it was recently discovered that reindeer are the only mammals that can see ultraviolet light! This wider spectrum of vision helps them to see things in the adverse conditions of the Arctic snow – things humans would only be able to see under a black light.
That leaves the BIG question. Can reindeer really fly? We’re not sure. Nobody but Santa has ever seen reindeer fly, but it shouldn’t stop you from trying to catch them in the act! Here are some exciting places to see reindeer online and off. (Just keep Grandma out of their way!)
Santa’s Official Reindeer Live Feed
The Grand Canyon Deer Farm
6769 E. Deer Farm Road, Williams, AZ 84046