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Reindeer



Reindeer
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.61

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    dominance, misfortune, northward, overgrazing, rutting, interlock, sociable, definitely, mating, accumulation, newly, pregnant, grounds, behavior, lower, smash
     content words:    North America, Around December


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Reindeer   

1     The reindeer is definitely one of the world's greatest winter survivors! Having a dense fur coat, reindeer have no problem fighting off the bitter weather of the Arctic. When reindeer need to travel in search of food, they walk on icy and slippery ground gracefully. They are sociable animals that live in herds. Both male and female reindeer have long, branched antlers. In fact, this physical feature is what sets reindeer apart from other types of deer. Females of other types of deer don't have antlers.
 
2     Reindeer have another name - caribou. Why do they have two names? Well, the answer to that question is "geography." People in Europe and Asia call these animals reindeer, but people in North America call them caribou. Aside from having two names, there is another difference between reindeer and caribou. Reindeer have been domesticated animals for hundreds of years. Caribou have always roamed freely in the wild.
 
3     Every year, reindeer walk for thousands of miles to look for food - grasses, mosses, lichens, birch and willow leaves, and fungi. We call this animal behavior "migration." During the spring and summer months, reindeer head north. As the snow gradually melts to give way to newly grown grasses and other plants, reindeer find themselves plenty of fresh food by migrating northward. As reindeer keep walking north, they reach the Arctic tundra, an open plain so far north that no trees can grow there. Reindeer don't stay in one specific area. Instead, they are always on the move to have access to fresh food all the time and to prevent overgrazing. When autumn arrives, reindeer start moving south. They return to their winter residences in forested areas where snow accumulation is less. Reindeer use their hooves to paw away snow to uncover lichens, their main food supply during the winter months.

Paragraphs 4 to 5:
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