Caribou Facts

Caribou Facts
Caribou is also known as a reindeer. Caribou lives in the northern parts of Europe, Asia, Greenland and North America. Caribou can be found in coniferous forests characterized by swampy areas, lakes and rivers, such as those found in Alaska, Canada, Scandinavia and Siberia. There are two species of caribou (reindeer): the tundra reindeer and the woodland reindeer. Tundra reindeer is further divided in six known subspecies, while woodland reindeer has three distinct subspecies. Caribous are threatened by habitat loss, deforestation and global climate changes. Certain populations of caribous are already critically endangered.
Interesting Caribou Facts:
Caribou is a large mammal. It can reach 240 to 700 pounds in weight and 4 to 5 feet of height at the shoulder.
Body of caribou is covered with winter coat which provides insulation at the low outer temperatures. Color of the fur depends on the species. It can range from dark to light brown.
Caribou is an ungulate, which means that it has hooves. They are concave in shape and adapted to the walking across the deep snow.
Caribou is the only member of deer family where both males and females wear antlers.
Female has shorter antlers and wear them a bit longer than males. Antlers in females symbolize dominance and they will shed after giving birth to a baby.
Males shed their antlers as soon as the mating season is over, after completing fights for females attention.
Antlers play important role in the lifestyle of caribous. Besides protective role, they are used for digging of the snow during the search for food in the winter period.
Caribou is an herbivore (plant-eater). Depending on the season, it feeds on various plants, grass and lichens.
Most subspecies of caribou are migratory. They can travel up to 3000 miles each year in the search for better sources of food.
Caribou is very fast animal. It can run 50 miles per hour, especially when trying to escape from the predators.
Although caribou is a large animal, it has a lot of predators. Main predators of caribou are: wolves, bears, lynx, wolverines and golden eagles.
Caribou releases special scent when faced with danger. Scent is produced in the gland located in the base of ankles and it informs other caribous about near danger.
Mating season of caribou takes place from September to November. Males fight with each other before the most dominant male gets opportunity to mate with females. Winner can mate with 15 to 20 females.
Pregnancy in females lasts around 7 and half months. It ends with one baby that is able to stand on its own feet few minutes after birth. Baby is able to run with its mother the following day. Young caribou becomes independent after year and half.
Caribou can survive around 4.5 years in the wild.

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