Caribou Facts

Caribou Facts
Caribou and reindeer are the same species of mammal, found in Canada, Alaska, Siberia, Scandinavia, Asia, Greenland, and in some states in the U.S. There are several caribou subspecies, but two have already become extinct. In most species of caribou, both females and males grow antlers. Caribou fur color varies depending on the subspecies and the season, with Peary caribou being small and white, and woodland caribou being darker brown. In North America, the size of caribou varies from the west of the continent to the east. Caribou live to be between 7 and 15 years of age, and live on an herbivore diet.
Interesting Caribou Facts:
The scientific name of the caribou is rangifer tarandus caribou.
Caribou are herbivores, consuming mainly lichens, plants and grasses.
Caribou can consume as much as 12 pounds of food each day.
Caribou tend to live in old growth forests, and along rivers, lakes and bogs.
The caribou's predators and threats to their existence include humans, wolverines, lynx, wolves, bears, and golden eagles.
Caribou are the only type of deer species whose females and males grow antlers.
Caribou use their antlers to dig in the snow for food in the winter months.
Caribou migrate thousands of miles each year. Some travel as many as 3,000 miles each year during migration.
Caribou's hooves are shaped in such a way that they act like snowshoes in the snow, and paddles in the water. The hollow center is useful for scooping through snow to search for food, and the sharp edges of the hoof helps caribou when walking on ice or rocks.
Caribou can run as fast as 50 miles an hour.
When a caribou senses danger it can give off a special scent that warns other caribou to stay away. This scent is created in a gland at the caribou's ankle.
The woodland caribou mating season is from early to mid-October. If successful the offspring is born in early June. Woodland caribou carry one calf at a time.
The average size of a caribou is four to five feet at the shoulder.
The average weight of a caribou is anywhere from 240 to 700 lbs.
Caribou are considered to be an endangered species. Some subspecies are critically endangered.
Indigenous populations in the north rely heavily on caribou for food.
Female caribou shed their antlers after giving birth.
Male caribou shed their antlers after mating season ends. During mating season they use them while fighting for the attention of the females.
Caribou babies become independent when they are one and a half years old.
Caribou are currently threatened by global climate change, deforestation, and loss of habitat.
Caribou are considered to be ungulates. This means that they chew cud and are cloven-hooved.
Caribou do not like bugs in the warm months and will run for miles to escape them.
One subspecies of caribou called the Peary caribou are only found in Canada's Arctic Archipelago islands. Their population is believed to be approximately 10,000. This subspecies does not migrate very much, and are smaller in size than other caribou.

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