He’s found on our Holiday greeting cards, on our festive napkins, sweaters and cushions. Toy manufacturers love him and children’s clothing brands use him profusely. He is indeed the most famous of all reindeers; our beloved Rudolph.

RudolphSource: mamiverse.com

This Holiday Season, please help us protect the caribou. Rudolph will thank you for it.

Popularly known as Santa’s ninth reindeer from the 1930’s book by Robert L. May, Rudolph is a young buck who has only adolescent antlers and a shining red nose. Although he gets scrutiny for it, the radiance of Rudolph’s nose is so abundant that it brightens Santa’s path as the reindeers fly through the harsh winter climate.

His shining red nose is an accepted part of Christmas folklore. But could this myth actually have some truth to it? It would seem so!

Scientists from the University of Lund in Sweden have proven that reindeer noses actually blush, as part of a study into the working of animals’ bodies that are not visible to the human eye. Equipped with a thermal sensor camera, these scientists showed that the nasal part of the reindeer turns red, unlike the rest of his body which is covered in insulating fur.

Sensory imaging of a reindeer Source: @Ince et al, BMJ

Here is what they say….

“The animal has, during its evolution, developed an important network of capillary vessels in its muzzle which allows it to regulate the temperature of its body. While putting two reindeers on a running treadmill, researchers filmed and observed through an infrared camera the heat that diffused from their heads. They spotted bright red areas at the snout (…). “

So what’s the explanation?

When reindeer are feeding, their mules [noses] are exposed to very low temperatures as they look for food under the snow,” said Ronald Kröger, the University’s Professor of Functional Zoology. “They pump warm blood into the mule which means it can be a bit reddish because of this strong blood flow. The eyes and the mule are lighter and warmer than the rest of the body. Reindeer need to maintain sensitivity in order to know what they’re actually eating.

Simply put, Rudolph’s nose doesn’t freeze. And science proves it.

Science also tells us that the reindeer has many sub-species, one of which is Canada’s woodland caribou! The reindeer and the caribou are geographically dispersed mammals that are in fact long lost cousins, driven in different directions by the Ice Age.

What’s interesting is that the caribou community grew further apart from the reindeer and splintered because of its innate difficulty to adapt to change.

We know this because the caribou is a very sensitive animal that can’t survive without habitat stability.

But caribou habitat in Canada is under intense pressure. Logging and other industrial activity is disturbing the forests that these woodland caribou rely on.

As a consequence, the woodland caribou has become an endangered species in Canada and has been listed as threatened for the last 15 years. We therefore desperately need to protect the caribou’s remaining habitat.

It’s kind of a big deal….

This Holiday Season, please help us protect the caribou. Rudolph will thank you for it.

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Discussion

Wow i really did not know that reindeer can have red noses!!!
I GEUSS RUDOLPH REALLY IS REAL SO I THINK SANTA IS TOO!!!

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Rudolph has a red GLOWING red nose. Not just red.

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https://thediscoverblog.com/2015/03/27/reindeer-in-canada/ Maybe because they are not native to Canada?

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its kind of weird for a reindeer to have a red nose but I read all about how in the world or why does a real reindeer have a red nose or why does a real reindeer have a red nose or something.

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Wait. If his nose does not freeze why is it red? And glowing? Glowing=magic but still.

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i want to see a red nose reindeers

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