Home - Guide - Caribou
(Rangifer tarandus)


    The Caribou, or Reindeer, is located in northern countries
    such as Canada, Russia, Greenland, Finland, Norway
    and Sweden.  It can also be found in the state of


    The diet of the Caribou varies as the seasons change.  In
    the summertime, when vegetation is more plentiful,
    Caribou will feed on a  variety of plants including willow
    leaves.  In the wintertime, Caribou will use their hooves to
    dig through snow to get to moss and other lichens that
    lie beneath the arctic surface.  


    Caribou are migratory animals and are known for mass
    migrations across the tundra in search of food.  Caribou
    are well adapted to living in the tundra with thick fur and
    skin that enable them to enter frigid rivers while
    migrating.  The hooves of caribou are wide to assist
    supporting it on surfaces such as mud and snow, and
    wide hooves will also help the caribou to dig and swim.

Size and Description

    Female Caribou will weigh about 200 pounds, and can
    weigh as little as 180 pounds as adults.  Males weigh
    about twice as much on average but can weigh up to as
    much as 600 pounds.  Caribou will stand from 35 - 55
    inches at the shoulder.  Males and females both have
    antlers and will shed their antlers at different times in the
    year, older males losing theirs after the mating season
    and females losing theirs in the summer.   


    The mating season, or rut, occurs in fall and the calving
    season occurs in spring when the female will give birth to
    usually one calf.  
IUCN Status:
Lower Risk
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Cervidae
Genus: Rangifer
Species: tarandus
© Joseph Cerreta
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