Reindeer Have No Internal Body Clock

If you’ve ever wondered how Santa’s reindeer can help the big guy deliver presents all night without getting tired, well … now you know.  According to a BBC article published this week, researchers have determined that reindeer have no internal body clock that tells them when they should be asleep and when they should be awake…

Professor Andrew Loudon from The University of Manchester took part in the study.

He said that the reindeer may have “abandoned use of the daily clock that drives biological rhythms” in order to survive the extreme conditions in the Arctic.

He and his colleagues studied reindeer living in Northern Norway, 500 km north of the Arctic circle. Here there are 15 weeks of continuous daylight in summer and eight weeks during the winter where the Sun does not appear over the horizon.

Researchers said having a regular 24-hour clock might actually be a hindrance to animals like the reindeer, who live in environments that display a different cycle.