Today is a special post. Many of you know that I have been close friends with Rudolph for the past 25 years. He wanted me to straighten the record on a few things that have gotten twisted over the years.
First, he is part of an extremely rare species Rangifer sleighpulus. There are only 9 in existence in the world. They are an ancient breed, and can live for thousands of years. Like their very close cousins, Rangifer tarandus, they live in the Northern polar region. They are specially adapted to live there. Their large, spread out toes allow them to walk on top of snow, like snowshoes. This also helps them during summer months to walk on top of the soft moss and mud without getting stuck.
Have you ever been outside on a super cold day that nearly took your breath away? Reindeer have a special nose with bones in it that look like a spiraled loofa. This provides a larger surface for air to travel past, and get warmed up before hitting the lungs. It also causes the any moisture that might be in the air to condense back into much needed water that they can swallow.
Reindeer have a very thick coat with layers that help to keep them nice and warm.
With most species of reindeer, the males will shed their antlers in early December. But, with this species, they do not shed until January.
Most of the year, these 9 reindeer live within large herds of the more common reindeer.
Unlike popular belief, this species does NOT fly year round. They ability to fly only comes with the magic that happens Christmas Eve. Right around the end of November, the excitement, and electricity caused by the anticipation of Christmas in children, fills the air and moves Northward. It reaches these 9 reindeer, and they begin their migration to the North Pole to meet up with Santa. On Christmas Eve, when the first child falls asleep, fueled by the power of love, goodwill, joy, and anticipation the reindeer rise into the sky and pull Santa's sleigh.