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Rangifer tarandus

Females with antlers too!

  • Its Mi'kmaq name Qalipu/Xalibu means “who digs for his food”. In fact, caribou have wide hoofs in the shape of a shovel that it uses to dig through the snow in search of lichen.
  • Contrary to the other cervid species, the males and the majority of females grow antlers. The difference is in the size of the antlers, as they are much larger on males and the duration at which they shed them. Males shed their antlers in January, after mating, whereas females shed theirs in May or June after giving birth.
  • A recent study showed that caribou are one of the few mammals capable of seeing UV light. This implies that it can distinguish white fur, urine and lichen which appear in greater contrast in an environment that is completely white.