While Santa’s sleigh has always been pulled by reindeer, it wasn’t until sixty four years ago that Rudolph joined the merry squad. The first mention of this helpful red-nosed reindeer appeared in a 1939 booklet written by May and published by Montgomery Ward, the US department store.
But while Rudolph’s bright red nose has always thought to be unique, ten years ago medical researchers found he is not alone – there are a huge gang of reindeers with similar red schnozzles out there.
After extensive study carried out by researchers at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam of the reindeer species the ‘Rangifer tarandus’ they found the rosy colour is owed to the density of blood vessels in their noses , to help them regulate body temperature in extreme environments – like hurtling at lightning speed through the cold winter’s sky on December 24th.
The scientists made the discovery by looking closely at the noses of two reindeer and five human subjects, who held a special microscope that allowed them to see individual blood vessels and the flow of blood in real time. After comparing the videos, they discovered the reindeer had 25% higher concentration of blood vessels in their noses.
They also made the reindeer run on a treadmill, and looked at which parts of their bodies lost the most heat after. The scientists found that the nose, along with the hind legs, reached up to 75° Fahrenheit. Because this is an extremely high temperature for a reindeer, they deduced that the function of all the blood flow was to help regulate temperature, bringing large volumes of blood close to the surface when the animals are overheated, so its heat can radiate out into the air
The lengths these reindeer go to, to ensure our children’s pressies are delivered on time is impressive. Can’t see Amazon deliver drivers putting up with their body parts changing colour to cope with the traffic/stress/rude customers.
So make sure you leave out a decent snack this year for your loyal Rudolph and his pals.