THE DEER ’S ANTLERS
THE DEER ANTLER: GROWTH AND FALL
The deer’s antlers are true bone structures that possess an unique feature: each year they grow, demineralize, drop-off and regrow. Thanks to this peculiarity, the antlers begin to grow in such a manner that the part attached to the skull is the oldest one. Antlers grow symmetrically e simultaneously, i.e. they do not grow like a tree, where a first, thin stem appears and then strengthens. Here, the growth starts from the wide base, on which the new antler re-generates. Unlike the antlers, the horns do not have bone’s characteristics, as they are of ectodermal origin and, except for the Mexican pronghorn, they do not regrow. In the case of the mouflons, for example, the horns grow throughout their lives and throughout the year. In regions with temperate climate (diversified according to seasons) during the winter growth stops, while in spring it speeds up. Due to this reason, different formations develop, based on which - as in the horns’ case - you can determine the animal’s age.
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