The caribou (Rangifer tarandus), a member of the deer family of large mammals, is an exceedingly important souce of food, clothing, and shelter to the native Inuit people of northern Canada and Alaska.

The caribou provide food in the form of meat, clothing in the form of furs, and shelter in the form of bones.

The habitat of the caribou stretches from the USA-Canadian border, from sea to sea, and extends over 4000 Km north to Ellesmere Island. The southernmost region supports the Woodland Caribou, north-western Alaska supports the Grant's Caribou, the Barren-Ground Caribou live their lives in central Alaska and Canada, and the Perry Caribou make the northernmost zones their home.

The caribou's SparkMatch type is cloven-hoofed cud-chewer. They have stocky torsoes protected from the chill by long dense coats. Caribou are excellent swimmers, using their broad hooves as paddles. Interestingly, they have scent glands in their hooves.

The natural predator of the caribou is the wolf, although their most successful predator is the human.

research source: The Canadian Wildlife Service

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