Sing with us: “Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer had a very shiny nose, and if you ever saw it, you would even say it glows. All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names…,” wait a second. “Him?”
If Santa’s reindeer are like most, they probably aren’t male. The winter antlers are a dead giveaway.
Related media: Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
Don’t Shred Your Antlers Yet
A deer is a hoofed grazing creature with branched bony antlers that are annually shed — typically borne only by the male.
Antlers seem to be a deer’s most prominent feature, but in most species of deer, only the adult males grow antlers. That’s what makes the reindeer species unique. They don’t discriminate: all reindeer have antlers, be it males, females, adults, and calves. Reindeer also have the largest and heaviest antlers relative to body size.
Unlike other deer species, reindeer shed their antlers annually, but at different seasons. Male reindeer shed theirs during the winter right after the mating season, since there’s no need to show them off to the ladies. But female reindeer shed theirs during the summer right after giving birth, since they mainly use theirs for foraging during the winter and get rid of them come summer.
Where Art Thou Antlers?
So if male reindeer shed their antlers during the winter, then how on Earth in the mythical name of Santa Claus, is his reindeer (Rudolf) still crowned with ‘em antlers? Maybe its a female reindeer who leads Santa’s sleigh during the Christmas season. Only if you’re not sexist or get all technical with this argument. Then you get our point.
However, sledders often castrated males, called steers, to pull their sleighs, because they don’t get tuckered out after mating season. Steers shed their antlers around the same time females do. Then, maybe Santa neuters his reindeer like every good pet owner. Ouch! Rudolf.
The same goes for the youngsters. Male reindeer don’t start shedding antlers in winter every year until they grow old enough. This leaves us the later option, maybe Rudolf is just a cast of young rotating male reindeer, rather than being one lucky female who happens to be called “Rudolf.”
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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Fri, Jul 26, 2019.