About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Why Rudolf's nose was red

Photo from Wikimedia Commons
The secret to Rudolph's red nose is the dense network of blood vessels that carry red, oxygen-rich blood in the nasal architecture, say the scientists from the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and the University of Rochester in New York.

"In colder climates and also when they are higher up in the atmosphere pulling Santa's sleigh, the increase in blood flow in the nose will help keep the [nose's] surface warm," Dr. John Cullen of the University of Rochester told MedPage Today. The dense network of blood vessels in reindeer noses is also essential for regulating the animal's internal body temperature — like many mammals, reindeer don't sweat.

The researchers found reindeer noses do turn a rosy red after a treadmill test. "These results highlight the intrinsic physiological properties of Rudolph's legendary luminous red nose, which help to protect it from freezing during sleigh rides and to regulate the temperature of the reindeer's brain, factors essential for flying reindeer pulling Santa Claus' sleigh under extreme temperatures," scientists explain.

Related Articles:
Edible ornaments for the birds http://bit.ly/tXDnSB
Decorate a Tree for Your Birds http://bit.ly/t3QtGV
A closer look at the holiday wreath tradition http://goo.gl/Y3cJ5g
The Tradition of feeding the Birds at Christmas Time http://goo.gl/7ODaQ
When did Reindeer Learn to Fly? http://bit.ly/veTLpT
How the Christmas tree tradition started http://goo.gl/r92VN
Holly's symbolism http://goo.gl/Dj5nOy

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