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Cladonia stellaris, or "star-tipped reindeer lichen" among talus boulders, northern Maine. In the form of fermented caribou stomach contents, this lichen was a favorite food in traditional cultures of far-northern North America. It was eaten fresh, and fed to dogs, in times of famine. The Woods Cree (Nihithawak) used it as a treatment for intestinal parasites.

This lichen species is probably the single most important food source for caribou and reindeer, especially in winter.

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Photograph copyright Stephen/Sylvia Sharnoff