Horns and antlers can be found in many species of animals, especially in males. It helps them to attract females and defend against predators and rivals. In fact horns and antlers are two different things. Horns are permanent and unbranched extension of skull of animals where the antlers are branched part made of dead bones. Animals shed their antlers annually and it will regrow in next season. Here the list of 10 amazing horns and antlers in the animal kingdom.
Springboks are attractive antelopes that found in Southwestern Africa. The brown and white colored antelope is also the national symbol of South Africa. They have attractive medium length (12-14 inches) black colored horns with a series of rings. Both male and female springboks have same shaped horns and sharp tip of their horns curve inwards.
Springboks have many of remarkable adaptations which help them to survive in harsh environments of Africa. During the summer season they like to have lots of moisture rich roots. During winter season they search for shrubs. Springboks can also reach speed of 100 km/hr.
Addaxs are white endangered antelopes that inhabit in Sahara desert. Both male and female addaxs have long twisted horns, measure between 35 -47 inches in length. They are also called as ‘screw horn antelopes because of their remarkable twisted horns.
Addaxs live in small group of 3 to 5 members. During the summer season they have white colored coats and it changes to grey or brown in winter. They mainly feed on desert grasses and small bushes.
The blackbuck antelopes native to the Indian subcontinent are better known for the long ringed horns of males. The horns stretches up to 28 inches and have 3-5 turns. The horn of male blackbuck also look like in a ‘V’ shape. Female blackbucks don’t have horns. The male blackbucks are in dark brown where females have yellowish brown coat. The male blakbucks are also noticeably larger than that of females.
Moose are the largest deer species that inhabit in the Northern Hemisphere. They are better known for the huge antlers of male moose. Their antlers measure 6 feet from one end to another end. The antlers grows from each side of the head of male moose. Their broad antlers look like cylindrical beams and have number of points.
The strength and size of antlers depend on the age of a moose. The diet of moose also plays an important role in the growth of their antlers. The antlers start to grow after the male moose become 12 months old. Their antlers also recede every year. During mating season male moose use his antlers to defend the rivals to attract female.
Mouflons are one of members of the wild sheep family, found across Iran and Iraq. The male mouflons have attractive large curved horns. The horn of a male mouflon has an average length of 25 inches. The horn also grows throughout the life of a male mouflon. Female mouflons also have horns and very small in size. At same time females of few subspecies of mouflons don’t have horns.
The male mouflons use their large horn to fight with other mouflons to attract female. Such fights also ensure their dominance in a group. The diet of mouflons mainly includes grass and shrubs. They also migrate to new places to find food during the winter season.
The oryx is one of largest antelope species native to Africa. They are easily recognized by their long horns and horse like neck. Their horns reach up to a length of 30 inches. Unlike males female oryx have longer and thinner horns. Oryx also uses their long and sharp horns to defend against predators.
They live in herd that contain hundreds of members. Oryx has an excellent sense of smell and can live for a few weeks without water. They can also run at a speed of 35 miles per hour.
4 White Rhino
White rhinos are the largest species of rhinos family. They have two horns, longer front horn and smaller back horn. The horns of white rhinos are entirely different from that of horns found in cattle and other animals. In fact the horns of white rhinos are a special type of growths made of structural protein called keratin. The larger front horn of white rhinos has length up to 24 inches.
In some cases the front horns of female white rhinos reach up to 59 inches. White rhinos are inhabit in South Africa. They form group that contains up to 14 rhinos and feed exclusively on grass.
Markhors are one of the endangered and largest species of wild goat found across Western and Central Asia. They have amazing twisting horns that reach up to 1.6 meters in length. The horns of male markhors are about 50 cm longer than that of females.
Markhors inhabit in shrub forests of the high mountains. The color and length of their coat differ in in accordance with the weather. During the summer, they have short reddish colored fur. In winter their fur grows longer and color also changes from red to gray.
2 Capra Ibex
The capra ibex also called as Alpine ibex is a species of wild goat family found in mountainous regions of Europe. The male capra ibex has long and strong horns, reach up to a length of 40 inches. But females have short and thin horns, only measures 13 inches in length.
During mating season male ibex uses his strong horns to fight with rival to get female ibex. They spend most of time in rocky terrain of high mountainous ranges and also good at climbing to steep slopes of the mountain. Alpine grasses and shrubs are main items within the diet of capra ibex.
Caribou also called as reindeer that found across North America, Europe and Asia. Unlike other species of deer family both male and female caribou have antlers. The antlers of male caribou measure 39 inches in width and 53 inches in length. The female caribou have shorter antlers than the males. The antlers of caribou also have many points in upper and lower parts.
During the harsh winter season caribou use their strong horns to dig in the snow to find food. Male caribou also use their horn to fight with rivals in mating season. They also shed their horns after mating season and a new pair of horns will grow in next summer season. Caribou are also one of the greatest migratory animals in the world.Each year they travel up to 600 miles in searching better places to find food.