Across many past and current cultures, caribou, reindeer or rangifer tarandus are mythical creatures

Still found in the northern portions of North America, Europe and Asia. Caribou, or reindeer, are holarctic deer. Reindeer, caribou or ranifer tarandus remain one of the most culturally significant creatures dating back to mythical stories from the pleistocene. Currently found in Alaska, Canada and along the Canada-U.S. border, including northern Idaho, northeastern Washington and southeastern British Columbia. During historic times, and glaciations; caribou had a much greater southerly distribution ranging from Alaska south to Tennessee and east to Virginia. At the end of the Pleistocene, reindeer followed the shrinking glaciers, and boreal forests, northwards towards the arctic. More recently, caribou could also be found in the northern U.S. from Minnesota to Maine, but they disappeared from these areas during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Caribou are well-adapted to the extreme cold of Arctic environments, and their presence in more southernly deposits from the late Pleistocene serves as a good indicator of colder climates during this time.

Length: females: 1.4-1.9 m (4.6-6.2 ft), males: 1.6-2.1 m (5.2-6.9 ft.); and
Weight: females: 63-94 kg (139-207 lb), males: 81-153 kg (179-337) lb.

Charles Hamilton Smith is credited with the name Rangifer for the reindeer genus in the 1800s. The tarandos name dates back to Aristotle and Theophrastus in Greece.

Physical Description
Reindeer have a thick, wool like undercoat and a stiff overcoat consisting of long, hollow guard hairs to protect them from cold. They have broad, flat, deeply cleft hooves that allow them to travel across boggy ground, snow, ice and water.
In March or April, antlers begin to grow on male and in May or June, female. The process is called antlerogenesis.
Antlers grow very quickly every year on the bulls. And, as they grow, spongy in texture, are covered in thick velvet, filled with blood vessels.
Caribou is the only species of deer in which both the males and females have antlers.

Caribou occupy boreal and sub-boreal forests as well as arctic tundra, and they utilize a range of habitats within these areas. They prefer old-growth and mature forests, particularly those adjacent to wetland and riparian areas. They are also found at high elevation grasslands, alpine and sub-alpine open forests. And, scrub, and barren habitats characterized by large stretches of bare ground. In winter, they favor habitats with shallow snow cover, which allows them to drink and forage through the snow more easily.

Reindeer, or Caribou are herbivores who feed on grasses, sedges, mushrooms and shrubs. During the winter months, when plants are not common, these animals forage primarily on lichens, and moss.

While migrating reindeer travel about 19–55 km (12–34 mi) a day. It can run at speeds of 60–80 km/h (37–50 mph). After one day, young calves can outrun an Olympic sprinter.
Most reindeer/caribou are fairly nomadic animals who travel in large herds, migrate between summer and winter habitats, and frequantly over long distances. Males use there antlers in the fall to joust, and the right to win a mate. In the spring pregnet females establish calving grounds in the open tundra and grassland habitat.
Did you know: reindeer can swim about 6.5 km/h (4.0 mph), and if duressed, even more almost 10 km/h, or (6.2 mph).

Where to find reindeer: past and present
Caribou have been found around terminal pleistocene ice sheets. In north America, some of the areas were: central and eastern Wisconsin (Zelienka Caribou, Oostburg Caribou, and Wauwatosa Caribou), northeast Illinois (Valentine Bog), northern and central Indiana (Kolarik and Christensen Bog), northern Ohio (Sheridan Pit and Huffman Bog) and eastern Michigan (Fowlerville Caribou, Holcombe Beach, and Minden City Caribou).
In Europe and Norway more than 25,000 mountain reindeer are still around Scandanavia.
Russia manages 19 herds of Siberian tundra reindeer that total about 940,000.
The Taimyr herd of Siberian tundra reindeer is the biggest. With an estimated 400,000 and 1,000,000.
In some areas of the world, including Canada. Reindeer have been disappearing.

Relationship with humans
Both arctic and European prehistoric people have deemed the reindeer culturally significant. Northerners depended on caribou for food, clothing, and shelter. And, many prehistoric Europeans cave drew reindeer. Both developed herding or semi-domestication for things such as meat, hides, antlers, milk, and transportation, around or before the bronze age.
In both Alaska and Finland, reindeer sausage is sold in supermarkets and grocery stores. Some countries even sells Caribou as meatballs, and as a popular beer brand in Canada.
As a natural aphrodisiac, nutritional or medicinal supplement, Asians had sought reindeer antlers for centuries.

Indigenous North Americans
Considered important amongst indigenous populations, and especially modernly in the north. There is an aboriginal saying: “The caribou feeds the wolf, but it is the wolf who keeps the caribou strong”.

Indigenous Eurasians
Many northern European nations have used the reindeer in there coat of arms.

Hunting history
In 53bc, in Commentarii de Bello Gallico (chapter 6.26). Julias Caeser described the reindeer: “There is an ox shaped like a stag. In the middle of its forehead a single horn grows between its ears, taller and straighter than the animal horns with which we are familiar. At the top this horn spreads out like the palm of a hand or the branches of a tree. The females are of the same form as the males, and their horns are the same shape and size.”

Santa Claus and Christmas
In 1823, “A visit from St. Nicholas” was wrote. Around the world, at Christmas and new years, public interest spikes in reindeer peaks.

Believe it or not, golden eagles are one of the most prolific reindeer hunters on calving grounds. Other critters, such as wolverines especially take newborn calves or birthing cows, and although less commonly, even adults. Brown bears and polar bears hunt on reindeer but healthy adult reindeer can usually far outpace a bear. Gray wolf is the most effective natural predator. And, commonly, these (and wolves) groups will work together.

The neolithic age came rather late to different regions of earth. Especially in the north.

To one, during the Weichselian glaciation, almost 115,000 till about 11,700 years ago. Scandinavia begin the deep unfreezing from ice cover.

It is decided that, in Denmark, the Ice Age finally ended about 9,700 years ago. About 15,000 to 13,000 BC years ago. The ice sheet, that covered almost all of Scandinavia, slowly began to melt away.

The reindeer walked to the north followed by the reindeer hunters.
As the ice receded, reindeer, and what was left of pleistocene megafauna grazed the emerging tundra plains of Denmark and southernmost Sweden. This was the era of nomadic cultures who hunted in vast territories. Some that spanned over 100,000 square km. They explored and lived as nomads in huts and teepees. Mostly following the reindeer migrations and wildlife across the barren tundra landscapes. As well, following salmon, cod, seals and whatever aquatic creatures they could find.

It was the finish of a great ice age. At the end of the pleistocene, the climate slowly warmed up. Fighting what little warmth, food, and shelter was available. Nomadic hunters from central Europe slowly started becoming accustom to the Scandanavian region. And, traveling back and forth to where weather was more suitable. It was around 12,000 BCE, when many glaciers were melting, that permanent, nomadic, habitation begin in the region.
This barren land, there was not much plant cover, except for occasional arctic white birch and rowan. Slowly but surely, eventually a taiga forest appeared. Around 11,400 BCE, the Bromme culture emerged in Southern Scandinavia. This was a more rapidly warming era providing opportunity for other substantial hunting game animals than the ubiquitous reindeer. As former hunter-gather cultures, the Bromme culture was still largely dependent on reindeer and lived a nomadic life. Their camps diversified significantly and they were the first people to settle Southern Scandinavia (and the Southern Baltic area), on a permanent, yet still nomadic, basis.

Local climate changes, around 10,500 BCE, initiated both cultural changes, and the first settling of the northern parts of Scandinavia.
Initially, a thousand-year-long climate cool-down replaced the taiga with tundra and the local culture reverted to former traditions, focusing on reindeer hunting. This culture is now referred to as the Ahrensburg culture.
Around 9,500 BCE, the local climate warmed yet again, and the pre-Boreal era emerged, which triggered the Ahrensburg to settle the emerging tundra of northern Scandinavia. For the next two thousand years, the climatic phase known as the Boreal reigned in the Scandinavian region.

A culture called the Maglemosian (Maglemose) culture lived in the areas of Denmark and southern Sweden around 7200BCE, or 9200 years ago. To the north, in Norway, and along the coast of western Sweden, the Fosna-Hensbacka culture was living mostly in changing seasonal camps. Along the shores and close to the now thriving forests. By the 7th millennium BCE, the climate in Scandinavia was warming as it transitioned from the former Boreal age to the Atlantic period. Reindeer and their hunters had already migrated and inhabited the lands of northern Scandinavia, and forests had established. Utilizing fire, boats and stone tools, these tribal cultures managed to survive in northern Europe. The northerners followed the herds and the salmon runs, moving south during the winters, moving north again during the summers. These early peoples followed cultural traditions. Similar to those practiced throughout other regions in the far north. Areas including modern Finland, Russia, and across the Bering Strait into the northernmost strip of North America. Comprising portions of today’s Alaska and Canada.

6,400 to 5,400 BCE (8,400 to 7,400 years before present). Kongemose culture, was the southern Scandanavian culture that followed maglemosian or maglemose. They acted as stewards for the aurochs, wisent, moose and red deer that roamed freely in the forests. All were game for tribes of what is now called northern culture. Like their predecessors, the Kongemose tribes also hunted marine animals such as seals. And, they fished in the rich shallow waters. North of the Kongemose people, lived other hunter-gatherers in most of southern Norway and Sweden, now dubbed the Nøstvet and Lihult cultures. Who are descendants of the Fosna and Hensbacka cultures. By the end of the 6th millennium BCE, as the sea levels rose gradually, these northerly tribal cultures continued their way of life. While the Kongemose culture was replaced by the Ertebølle culture. Adapting to climatic changes and flooding in their low lying southern regions, some areas were affected more severely.

By the 6th millennium BCE, the climate of Scandinavia was generally warmer and more humid than today. The southern regions were clad in lush temperate broadleaf and mixed forests.

During the 5th millennium BCE, the Ertebølle people learned pottery from neighbouring tribes in the south, who had begun to cultivate the land and keep animals. Soon, they too started to cultivate the land and, ca. 4000 BCE, they became part of the megalithic Funnelbeaker culture. During the 4th millennium BCE, these Funnelbeaker tribes expanded into Sweden up to Uppland. The Nøstvet and Lihult tribes (northern scandanavians) learned new technology from the advancing farmers, but not agriculture, and became the Pitted Ware cultures, towards the end of the 4th millennium BCE. These Pitted Ware tribes halted the advance of the farmers and pushed them south into south-western Sweden. Some say that the farmers were not killed or chased away, but that they voluntarily joined the Pitted Ware culture and became part of them. At least one settlement appears to be mixed, the Alvastra pile-dwelling.

3rd millennium bc: Proto indo european
Though the introduction of the proto indo europeans in northern Europe is still debated. By the 3rd millennium bce (before common era) it is agreed the northerners were over run. The language these early Scandinavians spoke is unknown, but towards the end of the 3rd millennium BCE, they were in the north. New tribes, who many scholars believe spoke proto-indo-European were the Corded Ware culture. They became known as the Battle-Axe culture in Scandinavia.
This new people advanced up to Uppland and the Oslofjord, and they probably provided the Proto-Germanic language that was the ancestor of the modern Scandinavian languages. These new tribes used the battle axe as a status symbol, were cattle herders and big change had begun.

Ultimately, the neolithic age led to the copper and bronze age(s). It would usher in a time of cultural advancement, strength and environmental change in Scandinavia.

Sources: Dalum Hjallese Debate club,, national geographic, wikipedia,, and

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Doggerland: 8247-8192 years ago, the storegga slide was a landslide that involved an estimated 180 mile length of coastal shelf in the Norwegian Sea which caused a large tsunami.

There had long been talk of a secret bank, and group of men inhabiting a land stretched far and wide. In Greece, legends spoke of it, receding from the last glacial maximum, from northern Spain; to England, Ireland, Scotland; between, France, Holland; and extending thu Germany to even Denmark, Sweden and Norway. In 1931, a famous discovery made the headlines when a trawler named ‘Colinda’ hauled up a lump of peat while fishing near the Ower Bank, 25 miles off the English coast. To the astonishment of the fisherman, the peat contained an ‘ornate barbed antler point’ used for harpooning fish that dated from between 9,000-4,000 BC. This was what started the ‘imminent rush’, to began researching ‘doggerland’ and the ‘doggerbank’.

Around 8200 years ago, after the storegga slide, and the water enraged typhoon hit. For about 1500 years, all that was left was ‘doggerbank’. Until more glaciers melted, ‘doggerbank’ was above water but when more glaciers melted, it became submerged. Around 7000 years ago. And, so began the separation of mainland Europe, from England, and other area islands, that eventually all almost became under water.

What is a ‘ornate barb antler point’?

An ‘ornate barbed antler point’ was probably an elk or deer, possibly something larger like mammoth, bear or cave lion too. Sharpened with a blade, or, bone, flint and/or sharp chert stone piece designed for cutting. Similar to big arrowheads. The neolithic fisherman would take turns with spears, and harpoons. Hunting fish and deer mostly. And, all that’s more is gossip and folklore.

What is ‘doggerbank’?

Named after the ‘doggers’, or dutch fishing boats, from medieval times. They were especially useful for cod fishing; dodging storms and catching waves. The actual modern ‘doggerbank’ not only houses wind farms but also a large portion of sand. About 100km east of England. Whereas the wind farms are further out. It was around 7000 years ago that this area, rich and fertile, went under water.

What is the ‘imminent rush’ in researching ‘doggerland’?

Earth passes thru cycles, and even though theories differ about global warming, and climate control, one thing is for sure. Many suffer and get displaced. There was a massive cycle that ended around 8200 years ago, and that was probably brought on by the last glacial maximum (33-14,000 years ago) and ‘great event’ 11,700 years ago. In understanding it, we may be able to prevent the same from happening again.