Reindeer in York

At the start of the year I wrote a list of the species I wanted to see each month. For some reason I put down ‘reindeer’ for December. There aren’t many around here, but I did find one on the outskirts of York, eating hay in a barn (on the tundra they’d find lichen at this time of the year). The remainder of its herd were out on a school visit apparently. These days, children are so detached from nature that many don’t know that reindeer are real animals!

Yorkshire reindeer eating hay

Reindeer hooves adapt to the season. The tundra is soft and wet in summer, so the footpads become sponge-like to provide extra traction. In winter, when the tundra is frozen, the pads shrink and tighten. This exposes the rim of the hoof which gives it better grip and enables them to dig through the snow to get at the lichen underneath. Isn’t evolution amazing! Merry Christmas.

Winter footwear

Ready for the big night

Thanks to The Farm Shop in York.


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