JAN 05, 2020 8:32 AM PST

Here's How Reindeer Stay Warm in Freezing Temperatures

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Reindeer are some of Winter’s most iconic animals, but have you ever wondered how these spectacular creatures are able to withstand such frigid temperatures without exhibiting so much as a shake or a shiver?

Reindeer evolved during the ice age, a time when the planet underwent a substantial hard freeze. During that time, animals either adapted to live in the cold or died off, and evidently, reindeer proved their resilience to the cold and now live in the Arctic region, which is one of the planet’s coldest places.

Virtually all land mammals are covered in some sort of fur that insulates them from the cold outside, but reindeer fur is exceptionally special. Unlike traditional animal fur, reindeer fur is hollow inside, and it covers almost every square inch of the animal’s body from head to toe. Moreover, the fur coat is tremendously thick, and you’d be hard-pressed to see any of a reindeer’s skin by spreading its fur apart with your hands.

As you might come to expect, all of this stacks up to a very dense fur coat that keeps the cold air out and the animal’s body heat in. The hollow hairs themselves are very important since air is a great insulator and each one captures surrounding air and then uses it to the animal’s advantage. This insulation is especially important in snow storms, as it shields the animal from wind chill.

When the cool weather settles down, reindeer moult their fur until it's time to prepare for the next chilly season. This keeps them from overheating inside of their own fur jacket in the warmer months.

Related: The true color of polar bear fur explained

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JUL 20, 2021
Plants & Animals
Feral Pigs Are Releasing More Carbon Than One Million Cars
JUL 20, 2021
Feral Pigs Are Releasing More Carbon Than One Million Cars
Feral pigs are considered to be a destructive, menacing invasive species in several parts of the world including the sou ...
JUL 30, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Megadrought Brings Western US Lakes to Record Lows
JUL 30, 2021
Megadrought Brings Western US Lakes to Record Lows
The megadrought affecting the western United States is not letting up, even though the monsoon season has begun. The lat ...
AUG 03, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Outdoor Activities and Recreation Under Stress
AUG 03, 2021
Outdoor Activities and Recreation Under Stress
Outdoor recreation has long been shown to be good for your health. Walking through parks lowers blood pressure ...
AUG 09, 2021
Earth & The Environment
New Pterosaur Fossil discovered in Australia
AUG 09, 2021
New Pterosaur Fossil discovered in Australia
Pterosaur fossils have been discovered in all corners of the globe since their first discovery in Kansas in the 1700s. S ...
AUG 17, 2021
Plants & Animals
Neandertal genome gives insight into their social structure
AUG 17, 2021
Neandertal genome gives insight into their social structure
A new study sequenced Neandertal DNA, revealing the first father-daughter pair and other clues about social life.
AUG 22, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Fire Season in the Far North? The Wildfires of Siberia
AUG 22, 2021
Fire Season in the Far North? The Wildfires of Siberia
Fires have spread across over 10 million acres in Siberia
Loading Comments...