Reindeer, or caribou, constitute the genus Rangifer, and are large clumsily built deer, inhabiting the sub-Arctic and Arctic regions of both hemispheres.
The wild Scandinavian reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) may be regarded as the typical form of the species.
- Lateral metacarpals as in Rangifer; antlers wanting; upper canines of males tusk-like and growing from semi-persistent pulps; cheek-teeth tall-crowned (hypsodont); tail moderate.
- Lateral metacarpals as in Rangifer; antlers rather small, without a brow-tine or sub-basal snag, dichotomously forked, with the upper or posterior prong again forking; tail rudimentary; vomer not dividing posterior nasal aperture of skull.
- Lateral metacarpals as in Rangifer; antlers very variable in size, forming a marked angle with the plane of the face, without a brow-tine; when consisting of more than a simple prong, dichotomously forked, frequently with a subbasal snag, and always with the lower prong of the fork projected from the front edge of the beam, in @ome cases the lower, in others the upper, and in others both prongs again dividing; tail long; tarsal gland generally present; metatarsal gland very variable, both as regards presence and position; vomer dividing the inner aperture of the nostrils in the skull into two distinct chambers.