Reindeer and caribou are actually the same species, Rangifer tarandus, but there are substantial differences between the two. Caribou are large, wild, elk-like animals which can be found in northern North America and Greenland and have never been domesticated. Reindeer are slightly smaller and were domesticated in northern Eurasia about 2000 years ago. There are still some wild populations of reindeer found in Eurasia but they are best known as a domesticated animal. Today, they are still herded by many Arctic peoples in Europe and Asia who depend on the reindeer for almost everything in their economy including food, clothing and shelter.
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