Scientists explain Rudolph’s red nose / News / The Foreigner

Scientists explain Rudolph’s red nose. Researchers at Norwegian and Dutch academic institutions publish why reindeer have red noses just in time for the Christmas season. According to them, the nose is central to regulating brain temperature as well as aid as protection from freezing during sleigh rides. The experts from the Rotterdam, Amsterdam, and Norway’s Tromsø universities reveal these factors are vital for Santa Claus sleigh-pulling flying reindeer under extreme temperatures.

norwayreindeer, santaclaus, universityoftromsoe



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Scientists explain Rudolph’s red nose

Published on Wednesday, 19th December, 2012 at 22:55 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 24th December 2015 at 12:40.

Researchers at Norwegian and Dutch academic institutions publish why reindeer have red noses just in time for the Christmas season.

Reindeer pulling sleigh in Russia
Reindeer pulling sleigh in Russia
Photo: Elen Schurova/Wikimedia Commons


According to them, the nose is central to regulating brain temperature as well as aid as protection from freezing during sleigh rides.

The experts from the Rotterdam, Amsterdam, and Norway’s Tromsø universities reveal these factors are vital for Santa Claus sleigh-pulling flying reindeer under extreme temperatures.

Reindeer cannot sweat like humans, so the nose is used as a heat exchanger. They have evolved to keep warm in the Arctic but need to cool down sometimes, like all animals.

To find the answer to the riddle popularized by the infamous “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, the researchers first found a 15 mm/mm2 circulating blood vessel density in five healthy adult human volunteers. This was done by using a hand-held video microscope.

None of these people – from the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands – were smokers, taking prescribed drugs, or with a history of any form of nasal disease.

Then two adult animals, which belong to the University of Tromsø, were then placed on a treadmill and their temperature analysed using the same method.

Here, the experts found a density of blood vessels 25 percent higher, carrying a super-rich concentration of red blood cells.

Moreover, the researchers discovered a high density of mucous glands scattered throughout reindeer noses.

They state that this helps "maintain an optimal nasal climate during changing weather conditions and extremes of temperature as well as being responsible for fluid transport and acting as a barrier."

Reindeer actually do have red noses, infrared thermal images revealed.

Citing the properties of the reindeers’ noses, the experts said, “These factors explain why the nose of Rudolph, the lead flying reindeer employed by Santa Claus to pull his sleigh, is red and well adapted to carrying out his duties in extreme temperatures."

Professor Can Ince (Erasmus University Rotterdam), professor Wytske J Fokkens , PhD candidate Anne-Marije van Kuijen, postdoctoral research fellow Dan M J Milstein and PhD candidate Koray Yürük (University of Amsterdam), as well as professors Lars P Folkow and Arnoldus S Blix (University of Tromsø) carried out the study.

The investigation and results are published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

“We thank Santa Claus for his enthusiastic support. He was as keen as us to unravel the mystery of his friend’s nose,” the experts write in conclusion.




Published on Wednesday, 19th December, 2012 at 22:55 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 24th December 2015 at 12:40.

This post has the following tags: norwayreindeer, santaclaus, universityoftromsoe.





  
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