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Reindeer expert, Tilly Smith shares 10 Reindeer facts you didn’t know

Did you know Reindeer have furry noses? Co-director of the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre, Tilly Smith, shares 10 facts you probably didn’t know about the traditional festive legend.

Image credit: Cairngorm Reindeer Centre

OK we all know reindeer help pull Santa’s sleigh on Xmas Eve however what else do we actually know – do they have red noses? Here expert Tilly Smith shares with us 10 facts you probably didn’t know:

1. Reindeer click when they walk.
2. Reindeer can see UV light with no harmful effects
3. Among deer species, bull reindeer grow the largest antlers relative to their body size.
4. Reindeer have a completely furry nose which has many blood capillaries near the surface to keep it warm.
5. Caribou and reindeer have the greatest circumpolar distribution of any living ungulate 14 degrees west to 5 degrees east and latitudinally 46 to 80 degrees.

6. The two layered coat of reindeer is incredibly dense, 670 per sq. cm for the longer hollow hair and 2000 per sq cm for the woolly undercoat.
7. Of all the deer species reindeer has the highest amount of solids (protein, fats, mineral and carbohydrate) in its milk to ensure rapid development of the calf.
8. Reindeer are the only domesticated species of deer
9. In some areas lichen will comprise as much as 80 per cent of the reindeers’ total winter diet
10. Reindeer are the only deer species that can fly ( but only on Christmas Eve! )

Maybe you want a serious 10th fact!
10+. Alaskan Caribou are the most travelled land mammals in the world, using radio collars scientists have shown they are capable of migrating 5,000 Km in one year.

To celebrate the launch of Tilly’s new book: Reindeer: An Arctic Life, she has kindly signed THREE copies to giveaway to our lucky festive friends.  Head here to enter this fantastic competition.

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