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Each of Santa's reindeer -- the original eight as well as Rudolph -- always is depicted with a full rack of antlers on Christmas eve. That's strong evidence that all nine probably are female.
According to the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, reindeer are the only members of the deer family where everyone grows antlers: males and females alike. Males shed their antlers by late November or early December. Females retain their antlers until after giving birth in the spring. So, when Dec. 24 rolls around and it is time for Santa to take flight behind his team of antlered coursers, in all liklihood Donder, Blitzen and the gang are females.
It is not a certainty, however. On occasion, a male will retain his antlers until the end of December. And geldings (neutered males) also retain their antlers. In the field of reindeer husbandry, neutering is not uncommon. Laplanders often neuter male reindeer before putting them to work, so the possibility that Santa's reindeer are neutered males cannot be discounted,
You can name all of Santa's reindeer, can't you? If not, go stand in the corner and memorize this list, as composed by Clement Clark Moore in 1823:
Now Dasher! Now Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet, on, Cupid! On Donder and Blitzen."
Rudolph did not join the herd until 1939, when he turned up in a short story. Ten years later, he went down in history when Gene Autry recorded the now-classic song written by Johnny Marks.
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