Sunday, December 21, 2003

A Reindeer Primer

This is a real reindeer.
The other day I was in a a shop when a older gentleman with his er, bouncy Abercromied companion were being shown jewelry...the salesperson was pointing out a section that was made from reindeer antler when Perky says entirely too loud "I didn't know reindeer were REAL!" causing my girlfriend and I to quickly make eye contact, then quickly look away, with her staring at the floor, and me staring at the ceiling, biting our tongues the whole time. Yes Virginia, reindeer are real. Christ on a bike, lady! However- it is the holiday season and what better animal to write about than the apparently elusive yet fascinating reindeer! For instance- did you know reindeer and caribou are considered the same species (Though reindeer are thought to be a bit smaller)? There is a subspecies that is almost all white that lives in Northern Greenland. Reindeer are the most domesticated deer- and are a primary resource for many people- mainly the incredibly interesting Sami in Scandinavia who until recently depended totally on these animals for everything,food, shelter, clothing...Reindeer have weird hair that traps air and makes them bouyant and they are awesome swimmers. That's pretty wild. Also- they aren't "tiny" either (as the song goes)-they reach up to 700 lbs! They do occasionally pull sleds though, though they do not have red noses. Unless they've been drinking too much. If you want to learn more about reindeer than this post , and really you should, look here

This is not a real reindeer.