Home / Funny / Animals / Amazing Of Reindeer Forming a Hypnotic Cyclone When Threatened


In the natural world, it appears that the smallest or slowest animal in a herd will eventually become prey. Nonetheless, some species have evolved special defence mechanisms that, quite literally, centre the most vulnerable. Herds of reindeer are known to circle each other when they feel threatened, making it nearly impossible to target an individual. The term "reindeer cyclone" refers to this phenomenon because of its imposing appearance from the outside.

The Vikings were the first to document this behaviour because hunting reindeer was an integral part of their way of life. To accomplish this, weaker reindeer circle the cyclone's edge while younger, more vulnerable fawns are positioned inside the formation. And in a matter of seconds, all of this is possible.

Drone footage of massive reindeer cyclones has become viral in recent years due to its captivating quality. Photographer Lev Fedoséyev photographed a cyclone in the northern Russian rural region of Lovozero composed of hundreds of reindeer. There were at least twelve layers of coordinated reindeer protection between the bear, wolf, and human targets, so whoever wanted to attack them would have to get past them.

The 2019 PBS show Nature: Wild Way of the Vikings also included a segment on this event. The series, which depicts their way of life in the year 1000 CE, features an eye-catching overhead sequence in which reindeer form a spiral formation to elude a Viking who is shooting a bow and arrow at them.

Although these videos show huge herds creating cyclones, smaller groups housed in corrals have also been shown to exhibit this behaviour. It's interesting to note that, despite their preference for either left or right turns when grazing or browsing, free-ranging reindeer always rotate left when they sense danger, according to research by Yngve Espmark from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology's Department of Zoology. 

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