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Alaska Department of Fish and Game

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Santa's Reindeer (R.t. saintnicolas magicalus)

Image of Santa's Reindeer tracks

Santa's Reindeer Tracks

Santa's Reindeer, like their caribou cousins, have the widest and roundest hooves of all deer species. Their large, concave hoofs are spread widely to support the animal in snow and soft tundra and function as suction cup-like grippers on steep snowy rooftops.

Image of Santa's Reindeer scat

Santa's Reindeer Scat

Like all subspecies of caribou, Santa's Reindeer scat should differ in size and shape depending on the amount of moisture obtained from the food the animal eats. No examples of scat have ever been collected so we cannot know for sure. We surmise that during most of the winter — except for the month of December when their diet changes — their scat should be small, concave pellets since they are eating mostly lichens, sedges and small shrubs with high fiber content. In the summer, if it is like other subspecies of caribou, scat will appear as soft clumps of mass resulting from a diet of lush, wet vegetation.

Return to the Santa's reindeer description page.

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