Blog: Conservation Conversations with Jamie

Santa’s Lady Reindeer

Reindeer at Brookfield Zoo

You know Dasher and Dancer, Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid, Donner and Blitzen, but do you recall what all of these reindeer had in common with Rudolph? I bet you are thinking, “Duh, they all flew Santa’s sled.” Of course you are right, but that wasn’t what I meant.

Did you know Santa’s flying reindeer were all FEMALE?  That’s right all nine tiny reindeer that flew in the night with Santa were girls. And, while this may be a great time to joke about the reindeer being women because they knew how to get to every home without directions, that isn’t why I know they were all ladies. Science. Science told me.

Their antlers tell the entire story.  Reindeer loose and grow a new rack of antlers every year, but when the antlers fall off differs by the sex and age of the reindeer. Adult male reindeer will lose their antlers in early December, so we are certain, scientifically speaking, Santa’s reindeer aren’t adult males. Female reindeer will keep their entire rack until the summer. Their rack stays longer so they can protect their babies from predators. Young reindeer will shed their antlers at various times throughout the year, but I can hardly imagine Santa having time to make all of the presents AND train and entire flight crew every single year.

This leaves us with one obvious choice: all of Santa’s reindeer that took to the night sky were female. This isn’t to say Santa ONLY had female reindeer, but the nine flyers were girls. Let’s be honest, unlike Santa, reindeer don’t live forever, so Santa needs both male and female reindeer, no? Because boy reindeer don’t give birth to future generations of magical flying reindeer. So, the ONLY LOGICAL and SCIENTIFIC option available is Santa’s sleigh team is all women.  Girl power!

You can see all of our reindeer at Wild Encounters and if you happen to stop by one night on Holiday Magic, you may even be able to have your picture taken with one of Santa’s reindeer ambassadors!

Posted: 12/21/2015 3:24:36 PM by Steve Pine

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