Why moose and deer drop horns, and cows – no?
The horns are a unique invention of nature, which for millions of years awarded a variety of animals. And now they are endowed with many. Only one uses them to protect against predators and wear all their lives, while others – to decorate males and participating in marriage games, such horns are updated regularly.
To the first group of animals, which are also called gerium, include goats, sheep, cows. They have a few days after birth, bone growths begin to appear on the skull. When they germinate through the skin, they are formed by the so-called horny case, which grows all his life. Inside such a horns – a big cavity. An animal can catch and break horn, he can crack, but after some time it will still grow, although it will be different from the pair. Many, probably, saw ritual Cups, of which in the Caucasus it is accepted to drink wine. They are just made from such hollow horns.
In the second group of animals, such as deer and moose, the structure of horns. Consider it on the example of deer. In the second year of life, the young male begins to grow his first horns resembling smooth and sharp spokes. Resets them and only after that it is growing others – they already appear sprigs. Bone jumper is formed between the skull and the point of growth, which is based on the horn. The first few months is soft and hot to the touch, covered with a soft velvet sandpaper. These young horns are called Pants. Since the middle of the summer, they are hardening, but short fur on them still saves. To get rid of him, deer begins to clean the horns of stones, trees. As a result, the skin is removed and begins to hish the flap, becoming like a bark of a tree. Therefore, there is such an expression "deer dieting horns".
Photo: Donald M. Jones
In the future, the horns become bone, solid, and deer can participate in marriage tournaments. And in the spring (in our zoo it always takes place between February 14 and 23) the bone jumper becomes more loose, porous, and the horns under their own weight drop out. In this place, the wrecks remain in this place, after which the growth of new horns begins. It turns out that the deer changes the horns once a year. And at such a rare species, like a mile, or, as it is also called, David deer, it happens twice a year. The first pair appears in the summer and is reset in November, and the second – in January and is reset in a few weeks, but may not appear at all.
By the way, some believe that the age of deer can be determined by the number of processes, but it is not. When a deer is performed about ten years, the horns become more weak and less branched. Apparently because the animal weakens.
Sometimes occur genetic failures, and then the horns do not grow. Many breeders even specifically dilute such animals so that they did not bother. Or forcibly get rid of males from horns. Make it simply: the vet is sufficient to burn the young growth point, and the horns will never grow up.