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 a permanent and unbranched extension of the 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 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 the sharp tip of their horns curve inwards.
Springboks have many remarkable adaptations that help them to survive in the harsh environments of Africa. During the summer season, they like to have lots of moisture-rich roots. During the winter season, they search for shrubs. Springboks can also reach a speed of 100 km/hr.
Addax is white endangered antelopes that inhabit in Sahara desert. Both male and female addicts 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.
Addax lives in a 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 stretch up to 28 inches and have 3-5 turns. The horn of male blackbuck also looks like in a ‘V’ shape. Female blackbucks don’t have horns. The male blackbucks are in dark brown where females have a yellowish-brown coat. The male blackbucks 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 grow from each side of the head of male moose. Their broad antlers look like cylindrical beams and have a 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 females.
Mouflons are one of the 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 the 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 females. 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 the 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 its long and sharp horns to defend against predators.
They live in a herd that contains 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 horns, and smaller back horns. 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 growth made of a structural protein called keratin. The larger front horn of white rhinos has a length of up to 24 inches.
In some cases, the front horns of female white rhinos reach up to 59 inches. White rhinos are inhabited in South Africa. They form a 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 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 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 a rival to get female ibex. They spend most of their time in the rocky terrain of high mountainous ranges and also good at climbing to steep slopes of the mountain. Alpine grasses and shrubs are the main items within the diet of Capra ibex.
Caribou also called reindeer found across North America, Europe, and Asia. Unlike other species of the 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 males. The antlers of caribou also have many points in the 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 the next summer season. Caribou is also one of the greatest migratory animals in the world. Each year they travel up to 600 miles in search of better places to find food.