For kids who love animals by a kid who loves animals
1. What’s up with Reindeer?-
Reindeer: the classic Christmas animal (in America, at least). They are the animal so famously known for pulling Santa’s sled and guiding him around the world to deliver presents. Dancer, Dasher, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and, of course, Rudolph are the well-known names for Santa’s nine reindeer. But did you know that reindeer’s noses are adapted to have a system that can warm the air in their nose before it gets to their lungs. The result? Reindeer have been observed to not have any steam coming out of their noses when they exhale in cold whether. Why? Because they have heat exchangers in their noses that cool the air down before letting it exit, keeping the heat with them. As most people know, reindeer, otherwise known as caribou, live in freezing climates such as the far north of North America, where it gets extremely cold. But most people don’t know the ways in which they have adapted to fit their surroundings.
2. The Birds of Christmas-
The Partridge in a Pear Tree, Two Turtle Doves, and Three French Hens. All three of the first lines appear to allude to different types of birds. However, some people theorized that all the lines are about different birds, even this one: “Four Colly Rings.” For an in-depth explanation of each stanza and how it relates to birds, go here.
3. Not Even a Mouse-
Most adults know the famous poem about Christmas, Twas the night before Christmas, but not many know the hidden animal reference within the song. Here is one about the mouse, “‘t Was the night before Christmas and all through the house, Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.” This comes from the first stanza. This poem originated from Clement Clarke Moore in 1832. We can infer that Clement says this because the mouse is a small quiet animal. The more you know!
4. Unusual Christmas Animals-
Most people know some of the common Christmas animals: the partridge, the dove, and the aforementioned reindeer. But some ideas of christmas animals seem a little strange now, even though they were the originals. For instance, camels are a popular christmas animal, due to their biblical significance of the bringers of the three Magis to the birth scene of Jesus. There are even camels in the 2017 film about Jesus’s birth, called “The Star.” Another odd christmas animal is the kangaroo in Australia. There is a famous song called “The Six White Boomers” that talks about how Santa uses Kangaroos to push his sled when he gets to Australia. Boomers is slang for a male kangaroo.
5. Animal Names Inspired by Christmas-
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that some animals are named after christmas-related things. It wouldn’t be the first time that humans have named an animal after something that it reminds them of. The candy cane shrimp is one example of that. As the name “Candy Cane Shrimp” suggests, Alpheus Randall is a white and red striped shrimp. The shrimp themselves are small and, for the most part, blind. It has a symbiotic relationship with Randall’s prawn goby, and it is mutual symbiosis, meaning that both animals benefit from it. Another animal named after christmas related things is the Spirobranchus giganteus, which is commonly known as the christmas tree worm, due to its two “crowns” that sort of look like red and white christmas trees.