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Fri Dec 1, 2017, 12:29 PM

FSogol's Advent Calendar Day 1: The Scientific Reason Why Reindeer Have Red Noses

Put me in the group that loves Christmas. While not being particularly religious (I did have a Lutheran upbringing), I've always enjoyed this time of year. To count down, I'll post a daily post here in the lounge with something, usually offbeat about Christmas.



From Smithsonian Magazine:

In 1939, illustrator and children’s book author Robert May created Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The character was an instant hit—2.5 million copies of May’s booklet were circulated within a year—and in the coming decades, Rudolph’s song and stop-motion TV special cemented him in the canon of cherished Christmas lore.

Of course, the story was rooted in myth. But there’s actually more truth to it than most of us realize. A fraction of reindeer—the species of deer scientifically known as Rangifer tarandus, native to Arctic regions in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Russia and Scandinavia—actually do have noses colored with a distinctive red hue.

Now, just in time for Christmas, a group of researchers from the Netherlands and Norway have systematically looked into the reason for this unusual coloration for the first time. Their study, published yesterday in the online medical journal BMJ, indicates that the color is due to an extremely dense array of blood vessels, packed into the nose in order to supply blood and regulate body temperature in extreme environments.

“These results highlight the intrinsic physiological properties of Rudolph’s legendary luminous red nose,” write the study’s authors. “ help to protect it from freezing during sleigh rides and to regulate the temperature of the reindeer’s brain, factors essential for flying reindeer pulling Santa Claus’s sleigh under extreme temperatures.”


Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-scientific-reason-why-reindeer-have-red-noses-166263479/#AeXbDfc5uMlWpSMr.99

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Reply FSogol's Advent Calendar Day 1: The Scientific Reason Why Reindeer Have Red Noses (Original post)
FSogol Dec 2017 OP
sl8 Dec 2017 #1
FSogol Dec 2017 #2

Response to FSogol (Original post)

Fri Dec 1, 2017, 12:38 PM

1. Thanks! I wasn't expecting to learn something new about reindeer noses today.

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Response to sl8 (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 1, 2017, 12:43 PM

2. Only two wrong. Didn't know the lion or Snow's name. n/t

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