What is the difference between an antler and a horn?
Antlers grow on males in the deer family.
Horns grow on males, and often females, on bovids, and some other ungulate (hoofed) mammals. Bovids are cattle, sheep, and goats.
Antlers are branched and are an extension of the animal’s skull.
Horns are not branched.
Antlers are covered in a layer of skin, called velvet. Velvet has its own blood supply and nerves.
Horns have a bony core covered in keratin. Keratin is found in toe nails, fingernails, horns, and hair.
Antlers are shed after breeding season, and a new set of antlers grows next season.
Horns are never shed. If a horn is broken it will not grow back.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM