The one fact only few people know about Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer

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Who would not know who Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer - also known as Santa's ninth reindeer - is? But really, do we know what kind of reindeer this popular animal is?

Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer

There is something interesting about Rudolph's antlers (Photo: pixabay.com / Dorothe)

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As depicted in most children's books and films, Rudolph is a small reindeer with small antlers and a glowing red nose that makes its looks iconic. But beside the distinguishing looks, the light the small deer's nose provides is enough to illuminate the surroundings of the sleigh.

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Actually, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer first appeared in a 1939 booklet written by Robert L. May. The booklet was published by Montgomery Ward, the department store, and later on, the story had several film adaptations too. And now, the odd-looking little deer is known worldwide as Santa's ninth reindeer.

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There is one thing, however, that not many people notice. As most people know, both male and female reindeer have antlers, and even the size of their antlers can be somewhat similar. Yet, there is a significant difference when it comes to the losing of them, and this difference is the time of the year the animals shed their antlers.

While males usually shed their antlers in the winter, or sometimes the early spring, females mostly loose them in the summer, and grow a new pair of them by the beginning of the winter. Christmas is obviously in the winter season - but what does it tell us about Rudolph?

No matter how small the antler of Rudolph is, the animal does wear a pair of antlers in the winter season, which either means that he is a forever-young two-years-old buck (at the maximum), or that - despite the confusing name - she is a hind who, after losing her antlers, is growing new ones in the winter.

Anita Diós

December 2018