By Wendy Langhans
This time of year, there’s a story that is passed around on the internet about Santa’s reindeer. If you recall, in every picture we have of a “miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer”, all the reindeer all have huge racks of antlers. In this internet urban legend, we are told that the male reindeer lose their antlers from November thru mid-December, while the female reindeer keep their antlers until after they give birth in the spring. Therefore, Santa’s reindeer must be female.
I wondered if this particular urban legend was true. As it turns out, it’s only partially true. According to the University of Alaska Fairbanks site, mature male reindeer drop their antlers in December and January and females keep their antlers until after they give birth in the spring. So it is possible that Santa’s team could be made up of male reindeer.
In my research I discovered a few more interesting facts. For more details check out http://reindeer.salrm.uaf.edu/sidebar/seasonal_calendar.php 
• Reindeer are actually a type of Caribou.
• Reindeer were domesticated in Eurasia about 7000 years ago.
• Younger males tend to keep their antlers a bit longer than the older males.
• Female reindeer become pregnant in August and September and give birth in April. That means they are pregnant for about 8 months, almost as long as humans.
If I were to offer my opinion, I think TEAM SANTA consists of a mix of younger males and non-pregnant females because:
• I didn’t lift anything heavy when I was 4 months pregnant.
• It’s a long trip.
• They have to stay up all night.
Come to think of it, “settling down for a long-winter’s nap” sounds like a good idea.
Upcoming Outdoor Events:
Wednesday, Dec. 26, 9:00 -11:00 AM. Towsley Canyon. Walk off that pumpkin pie - an easy morning stroll through the canyon. Rain cancels.
For a map and directions, click here .
Sponsored by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.
Saturday, Dec. 29,
Save the date for the Audubon Society’s 108th Annual Christmas Bird Count
Meet at 7:00 AM at Western Bagel in the "Big Kmart" parking lot, corner of Valencia Blvd. and San Fernando Rd. The address is: 23170 W. Valencia Blvd., Santa Clarita, CA 91355.
Saturday, Dec. 29,7:00 AM - 1:00 PM Santa Clarita Valley.
For more information, click here .
You can listen to stories like this every Friday morning at 7:10 a.m. on "The Hike Report", brought to you by your hometown radio station KHTS (AM1220) and by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.
For the complete MRCA hike and activity schedule and for trail maps, go to www.LAMountains.com .