Most animals don’t eat moss. It’s hard to digest, and it has little nutritional value. But reindeer fill up with lots of moss. Why? The moss contains a special chemical that helps reindeer keep their body fluids warm. When the reindeer make their yearly journey across the icy Arctic region, the chemical keeps them from freezing—much as antifreeze keeps a car from freezing up in winter.

Illustration by Dave Whamond

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