Woodland caribou in the boreal forest,mantua model train parts guide,bachmann n scale mckinley explorer train set 900100 - You Shoud Know

Sometimes called “the deer of the North,” the caribou, more than any other animal, is the symbol of the North country. There are several important adaptations that allow caribou to survive, and even thrive, during the long and cold winters. The caribou’s compact body is covered by a warm, hollow-haired coat that protects it from extreme temperatures. In addition, the large feet of the caribou act almost as snowshoes and help the animals to ‘float’ on soft snow; the characteristic clicking sound made by moving caribou comes from their tendons slipping over the bones in their feet. Caribou have a keen sense of smell that they use for detecting danger, as well as for locating food under the snow cover. Biologists have named most of the major caribou herds after the geographical locations of their calving grounds.
While the nearly simultaneous birth of the calves has many advantages, it also exposes them to great danger as well. To many natives of the North, the inland Inuit of Canada and Alaska, and to such indigenous groups as the Chipewyans and the Naskapi of Labrador, the caribou once meant life. Woodland caribou, found at the Preserve, are larger than barren-ground caribou and travel shorter distances. No other large North American mammal carries out such extensive and spectacular migrations or occurs in such vast herds as does the caribou. An abundance of caribou meant feasts and good times, while a shortage meant famine and real hardships. The least plentiful is the Peary caribou–a small white animal that spends the entire year on the treeless tundra of the Canadian high Arctic.
To prevent excessive heat loss from its long legs, the caribou maintains two internal temperatures.
In fact, the name caribou comes from the Micmac word xalibu, meaning “the pawer,” which describes the animal’s habit of digging through the snow for food.

Here, they spend considerable time on the tidal flats in an effort to escape the ever-present black flies. It is towards these remote areas in which they were born that the pregnant cows trek so urgently in spring.
In the preceding fall, most females mated nearly at the same time, and now, in mid-June, most calves are born within a five-day span. If during this vital, five-day period a late-season blizzard blankets the land, or worse, freezing rain drenches the calves’ fur, destroying their insulation, the just-born fawns may die. They ate its meat, dressed in its fur, and from its antlers and bones they made tools, toys, and weapons.
They spend most of the year in small groups that move between the boreal forest and the open mountain habitats where they travel in summer to escape insects.
This gregarious creature of the wide-open spaces is equally at home on the tundra, taiga or in the boreal forest. Although traditional behavior often determined the migration routes and seasonal ranges used by caribou, the species was, and still is, no more predictable than the wind.
In contrast, the barren ground caribou is the most plentiful and the one forming the large herds that migrate each year between the tundra and the trees. The large antlers typical of adult bulls are shed in early winter, while the cows keep theirs until calving time the following June. Its body temperature remains near 105°F, while that of its legs is more than 50 degrees cooler.
Caribou hairs are club-shaped–thicker at their tips than at their base–and form a densely packed outer layer with myriad tiny air spaces near the skin and within the fine, curly under wool. With the approach of fall, the caribou, now sleek with fat from reindeer moss and other lichens, sedges, and marine plants, prepare for the rigors of the coming winter. Accompanied by yearling calves, the females march 15 to 20 miles each day, probably guided across this vast and seemingly featureless land by clues and memories retained from past migrations.

This reproductive synchrony has great survival value; following the birth of the calves, the herds can quickly regroup and few stragglers are left behind. In favorable years, calves constitute as much as 25 percent of a herd, and less than 5 percent in disaster years. They can kill healthy caribou in a relay chase or cunning ambush, but they prefer, since it requires less effort and energy, to cull from a herd its most vulnerable and easily caught members–the old, the young, the weak and the sick; laggers and strays are also favored victims.
Clarke said, “it is to be hoped that there will never be so few caribou that it will be possible to count them.” But soon, scientists were counting and recounting them, and each successive census showed more starkly the havoc wrought by uncurbed and excessive hunting. In recent years, the melting of ice patches high in the mountains of the southern Yukon has revealed the accumulated droppings of thousands of years of caribou generations, along with the beautifully-preserved artifacts of the people who hunted them. This allows the pregnant females to claim and defend the best feeding areas in late winter when they need high quality food to nourish their rapidly growing fetuses. The caribou’s veins and arteries are closely aligned, like cables in a conduit, so that the out-flowing arterial blood transmits its warmth to the chilled venous blood returning from the limbs. The bulls, which have no pressing date with destiny, follow far behind the herds of females at a more leisurely pace.
Constriction of blood vessels in the extremities permits a flow of blood just sufficient to keep the legs from suffering frost damage, ensuring at the same time that little of their precious body heat is lost to the icy ambient air.
This deep-pile coat is so warm, it renders caribou virtually impervious to the worst Arctic weather. Rather, woodland caribou spend most of the year in smaller groups that move between the boreal forest and open mountain habitats.

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