UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
We guessed that reindeers eat: hay or grass, carrots, and apples. Is this true? What other things do Reindeers eat? Can they really fly? Where do they live? Thanks for your help!
Question Date: 2005-12-13
Answer 1:

Reindeer are semi-domesticated caribou but Reindeer are shorter and stouter It is believed they have been domesticated in Eurasia for at least 7,000 years.Reindeer live in the Arctic Circle.
In order to survive this cold climate the Reindeers hair is extremely dense. The outer coat has long, hollow hairs and the undercoat of fine wooly hair traps air. This thick coat inhibits radiation and allows them to lay on snow without melting it and getting wet. However, in summer the reindeer need to shed their outer coat and they expose their dark, soft undercoat.

In the wild, Reindeer will search for emerging buds, leaves and flowers of sedges and dig for rhizomes in the spring, followed by willow leaves, forbs, and mushrooms as they emerge in early summer. Reindeer physiology is specialized to eat and digest lichen (sometimes called reindeer moss) as an energy source in winter. Lichen is produced by a symbiotic relationship between algae and fungi. Captive reindeer must be fed a balanced diet of commercial grains, forage and supplements.
And one more thing: No, reindeer cannot fly.

Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2020 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use