Svalbard reindeer

Reindeer metacarpi from mainland Norway (left) and Svalbard (right), both from our collection.

Svalbard reindeer (Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus) are a separate subspecies of reindeer, endemic to the Svalbard archipelago. They have relatively small heads, a compact body, and shorter legs than the reindeer found on mainland Norway (Rangifer tarandus tarandus). The latter is clearly illustrated by the photograph above: the bone on the right is a metacarpus of a Svalbard reindeer, the metacarpus on the left is from a reindeer from mainland Norway. The osteological collection of the University Museum of Bergen contains numerous skeletons of both species.

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