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Posted by on Jan 23, 2016 in TellMeWhy |

What Are Deer Antlers Made Of?

What Are Deer Antlers Made Of?

Deer are the only animals with antlers. Antlers are solid bone growing from the foreheads of male deer and both male and female reindeer. The male deer (“buck”) uses his antlers in mating season to fight other bucks, and sheds his antlers seasonally.

When new, antlers are soft and tender, and covered with furry skin called velvet. Antlers are made of true bone that is fed by blood which is carried in the outer velvet covering. Velvet antlers are hot to the touch, with brushy hair and a waxy feeling coating.

The antlers quickly turn bony and hard and the velvet rubs off. A young male’s first antlers look like straight spikes. Older males have antlers with many branches, called points.

Content for this question contributed by Stephanie Sobczak, resident of Bethel Park, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA