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Reindeer. Mammal. Artiodactyla.

Terms in this set (13)

✔The adaptations of reindeer enable them to survive the extremes of harsh northern environments.
✔A dense, well-insulated coat of hollow hairs and air pockets as well as thick layers of fat beneath the skin protect reindeer from extreme temperatures.
✔They are strong swimmers, and their thick, air filled coat also enables them to stay buoyant and warm in the icy waters of lakes and rivers frequently crossed while migrating.

The reindeers' broad, flat feet with splayed hooves and strong legs help these deer to cross both snow and spongy tundra vegetation, to dig in snow, to swim, and to migrate long distances.
✔The well developed third and fourth digits bear the weight.
✔The front feet are noticeably larger and broader than the hind feet, and the footpads expand in winter acting as snowshoes and expose the hoof rims enabling it to dig through snow to reach food.
✔Long, interdigital hairs and a glandular secretion prevent snow clogging between the hooves.
✔When the deer is walking or running, the tendons snapping across bones in the feet create a distinctly audible clicking sound.

✔Antlers are used by males to engage in ritualized sparring matches with rival males as a test of strength.
✔Much of the courtship routine involves elaborate antler display by the males.
✔These contests are played by rules and serve to advertise the strongest animals without the need for bloodshed.
✔Antlers aid in establishing dominance in the social order, and animals with large racks are usually more dominant.
✔Females' antlers serve them well in defending food resources by chasing away yearling males that attempt to take over holes dug in the snow by the females to get at lichens.
✔Antlers grow directly from the skull and initially grow within a sensitive, highly vascularized skin called velvet.
✔The antlers finish growth and turn to solid bone in about 140 days at which time the velvet begins to dry and crack. It is rubbed off against small shrubs and trees to remove it.
✔Males shed their antlers after mating season in early winter; females late spring.
✔Shedding occurs when a layer of bone-dissolving cells invades the base of the antlers, weakening their attachment to the skull until they drop off.
✔It takes several months to grow a new set of antlers.