It’s official: Rudolph’s nose is indeed red

20070818-0001-strolling_reindeer-2Researchers from Sweden’s University of Lund have put paid to suggestions that Rudolph’s nose may actually be a different colour by saying the animal’s behaviour proves he does indeed have a red nose.

For year’s people have asked whether it is possible for a reindeer to have a red nose, but the university’s Ronald Kroger has carried out in-depth study using high-tech equipment to prove the doubters wrong.

The professor of functional zoology said that reindeer live in freezing temparatures and have to search for food buried beneath the snow. He said that when they are eating, their mules (noses) are exposed to extremely low temparatures so they must prevent them from freezing. He went on to say that in order to keep their noses warm they pump blood into the mule which makes it turn reddish.

The researchers came to their conclusion after studying reindeer behaviour at the Zoo of Nordic Animals in Skane during the night using an infrared camera that detect heat sources radiating off the body. After viewing the footage, Kroger and his team found that, in addition to having warm eyes, reindeer have a glowing red nose.

Kroger revealed that he decided to do the study when he became intrigued as to why his dog’s nose was cold and a reindeer’s isn’t. He added that nobody knows the reason a dog’s nose is cold and that’s what they are trying to find out.