Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) are large grazing mammals native to arctic and subarctic regions of North America, Asia and Europe. They are members of the deer family (Cervidae) and can typically be found in tundra and boreal forest habitats. They can be anywhere between five and six and half feet long, two and half to five feet high at the shoulder and weigh between 130 and 600 pounds. Both males and females grow antlers, though male antlers are larger and more branched than females.

From their fur to their hooves, and even the bones in their nose, caribou are uniquly adapted to live in the cold, harsh environments they call home. Their thick, multi-layered fur coat gives them warmth, protects them from the elements and helps keep them afloat when swimming. A special curved bone in their nose, called a Nasoturbinal bone, has a thin tissue of blood vessels that warms the cold arctic air before they breathe it into their lungs. And their large, flat hooves help them walk on snow and soft ground.

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    Tags: caribou

    Last updated: September 29, 2023

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