Rangifer Tarandus, commonly refered to as caribou (North America) or reindeer ( Europe and Asia), can be found globally in the Northern Hemisphere. They are a unigue member of the deer family, with 12 living subspecies, that differ geographically and morphologically. LARS currently houses a herd of 42 Alaskan reindeer for research purposes.
Rangifer can vary in size among the different subspecies. Generally speaking, the herds that occupy the Southern end of their range tend to be larger then their Northern cousins. Rangifer have a short, brown coat in the summer season. Their winter coat consists of long, hollow hairs that have a honey comb pattern on the inside, and a very light brown downy underwool. Both are light weight and insulate them from the harsh Arctic winter.