While many people can repeat their names from memory, did you know that there’s a high chance that Santa’s entire reindeer herd is female? It is true.
The names are not gender specific: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner (“Donder” in Clement Moore’s original poem), and Blitzen, and we assume the crafty St. Nick wisely opted for a squad. of girls who pull sleds on purpose.
Do you want proof?
Even though we are talking about mythical reindeer, there is real evidence supporting the female-centered reindeer theory, and it is all about the antlers.
It appears that the male reindeer shed their own in early December, just after the mating season, while the females retain their hoof throughout the winter. In almost every depiction of Saint Nicholas doing his iconic Christmas Eve run, the team pulling his sleigh has sporting antlers, ergo, he said the reindeer are female.
Before we rest our case, there’s actually another practical reason why Santa Claus hooked his harnesses to estrogen-powered gear: female reindeer have a 45% higher fat-to-body mass ratio than their male counterparts. This extra fabric serves as insulation that keeps you warm in freezing conditions as low as minus 45 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 43 degrees Celsius), and honey, it’s cold outside, especially in the upper atmosphere.
In an article for Living sciencePhysiologist Perry Barboza of the University of Alaska Institute of Arctic Biology in Fairbanks, who studies the creatures and their close cousins, the caribou, compares female reindeer to “hoofed seals,” since seals are equally equipped. with a tan internal padding.
Of course, the extra layer of fat means extra weight, so how does the female manage to fly so fast while carrying a prodigiously not-so-skinny male and the world’s largest sack of toys?
Magic, of course.
Okay okay, so maybe the main reindeer squad is female, but what about Rudolph, you ask?
Well, it turns out that Rudolph, created in 1939 by department store copywriter Robert L. May, may in fact be the only male reindeer in the group.
Before finding fame in song as well as on film and television, Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer was the hero of what amounts to an anti-bullying-themed children’s story. On the original cover of the book, Rudolph’s red nose may be shining like a beacon, but he has no sporting horns, just cute little bumps.
So is Rudolph’s antler deficit due to the fact that he’s a juvenile reindeer … or is it because he’s a boy? We leave that to you.
But there is one thing we will say, before clicking off our site, “Merry Christmas everyone, and everyone, good night!”
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