Is Rudolph a Girl?

When Do Reindeer Shed Their Antlers?

Reindeer Antlers

Christmas falls in late December—as we all know—and everyone’s favorite red-nosed reindeer leads Santa’s sleigh, as the story goes. In the wild, of course, the only reindeer left with antlers are the females!  (Sure, it’s fiction, but we thought this was a fun fact.)

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, both male and female reindeer grow antlers each summer. Male reindeer shed theirs from late November to mid-December, but females retain their antlers until after they give birth in the spring.


This is because the mating season occurs in the fall. Once the male reindeer have used their antlers to impress their mates, they no longer have use of them, and they shed them before Christmastime.

This means that the image most of us have of Rudolph with his antlers at Christmastime is not scientifically accurate. So, because all of Santa’s reindeer have antlers, they all have to be girls, including Rudolph … er, Rudolphine?

All joking aside, we thought this was a fun bit of trivia.  

Are you excited for Christmas this year? See our everything-Christmas page! Learn more about important Christmas traditions. And find out more fun facts about the history of Christmas.


The 2006 Old Farmer's Almanac

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This assumes that "artist's conception" illustrations we've seen are an accurate representation of the genuine article. So far as I am aware, there is as yet no clear photographic evidence available for examination.


Then if Rudolph is female what about Clarice??