We all know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen. But what you may not know about Santa’s famous sleigh team is that they are all female.
And they’re all pregnant.
Yep, you read that correctly. Don’t let the names fool you, because according to science, Blitzen is most likely a she — and Santa isn’t the only one with a big ol’ belly! Based on reindeer biology and mating patterns, the crew pulling Santa’s sleigh in December would have to be comprised of females, pregnant with calves due in the spring.
See, reindeer shed their antlers annually — and males and females shed at different points in the year.
According to Dr. Debbie, veterinarian and regular contributor on Animal Radio, who spoke to Babble over the phone, males typically “drop their rack” in November, leaving them without antlers until the following spring.
Females keep their antlers through the winter until their calves are born in May. This is mainly to help them protect their grazing spots, so they have enough food during pregnancy. And partly because it’s a hard to grow new antlers while their bodies are in the middle of growing new reindeer.
Which means that on December 25th, if you see eight reindeer with proud antlers pulling a sleigh across the sky, the laws of nature would dictate that you’re watching some pregnant ladies at work.
When you think about it, it explains so much. Delivering the perfect presents to all the children in the world, in a single night? That would take careful planning, world-class organization, meticulous scheduling skills, superhuman amounts of energy …
Of course they’re moms. We should have guessed that years ago.