Difference Between Antlers and Horns
Antlers vs. Horns
Â Â Â Certain animals in the animal kingdom have antlers and horns. Â Antlers and horns are often confused for one another; however there are distinct differences between the two. Â An antler is a long branching deciduous growth which lies on the forehead of certain animal species. Â A horn, also lying on the forehead of some animals, is a bone structure which protrudes and is covered with keratin. Â From the naked eye, antlers are typically longer than horns, and do appear as though there are branches off of the main stem. Â A horn does not have branches, and usually comes to a point at the end.
The purpose of an antler is different for each mammal that has them. Â Some mammals have them for auditory purposes, others for foraging, and some for defensive purposes. Â Horns are similarly used for defense and to help animals forage for food. Â Both antlers and horns are used to fight in the mating process. Â Some of the animals which have antlers include elk, moose, and varying species of deer. Â Animals which have horns include sheep, buffalo, and antelope. Â There are other hard growths which protrude from the forehead or face of animals that can be confused as horns and antlers but may not be.
Â Â Â Both antlers and horns have bone within them, however the covering of each is different. Â Antlers vary depending on sex and species, yet all are covered with a protein skin which promotes bone growth. Â The growth of an antler is rapid but does stop when the protective skin falls off, this means the antler has matured. Â Horns develop on animals as babies, and they do not stop growing until the animal is deceased. Â Horns may become curved or spiraled as they grow. Â The skin over an antler is made of protein and a skin called velvet, which protect the bone. Â Depending on the season and climate the animal lives in, the skin of an antler can also be shed. Â Different from the skin of a horn, which is keratin based and rarely sheds.
Â Â Â Antlers and horns not only have use to the animals that have them, but they are also highly sought after by man. Â Primarily both are used for trophies and decoration purposes. Â Horns have also been used to make musical instruments, some to make buttons, and others for glue making.
Â Â Â To those who are unaware of the differences between the two, antlers and horns can be confused for one another. Â Yet, underneath they are two very different animal traits.
- Antlers are branching growths from the forehead of some animals. Â Horns are protruding bone structures also from the forehead of certain species.
- Antlers and horns are both used for foraging and defensive purposes.
- Both antlers and horns are bone, however they each are covered with different types of protective protein skins. Â Antlers stop growing when mature and horns continue growing through the life of the animal.
- Antlers and horns are coveted items, which are often used in various items some cultures use daily.
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