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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 Caribou (Rangifer tarandus)




Caribou | Rangifer tarandus photo
Photograph by Jean-Guy Dallaire. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Caribou | Rangifer tarandus photo
Photograph by Jean-Guy Dallaire. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Caribou | Rangifer tarandus photo
Caribou, Quebec

Photograph by peupleloup. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Caribou | Rangifer tarandus photo
Caribou herd near Nome, Alaska.

Photograph by Ben Townsend. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

CARIBOU FACTS

Description
Caribou color varies from dark brown to nearly white. Woodland Caribou are darker brown while those from Greenland and the high Arctic are whiter. The belly, neck and area above the hooves is often white. The Caribou is the only species of deer in which both sexes have antlers. Mature bulls have large complex antlers. Females and young have smaller simpler antlers.

Other Names
Reindeer

Size
Males are larger than females. Length: Males 1.6-2.1m; females 1.4-1.9m. Weight: males 81-153 kg; females 63-94kg.

Environment
arctic tundra and subarctic forest

Food
leaves, roots, tubers, fungi, grass, sedges and other plants. Lichens are also eaten, especially in winter

Breeding
A single calf, weighing 3 to 12 kg, is born after gestation period of about 228 days. Twins are rare. Calves can feed on plants shortly after birth and are fully weaned after 45 days.

Range
found throughout northern polar regions of the world.

Classification
Class:Mammalia
Order:Artiodactyla
Family:Cervidae
Genus:Rangifer
Species:tarandus
Common Name:Caribou