What is the Velvet on Animal Antlers For?

Antler Velvet - Photo: Bonnie Harris - ExoticAnimalLover.comIf you’ve ever seen a deer, moose or caribou with antlers in person, then you know that they have this fuzzy hair on them when they are growing that looks like velvet.

In fact, that’s what “they” call it…velvet.

Photo right: Bonnie Harris

It’s highly vascular skin that provides the antlers, because of the blood supply, oxygen and essential nutrients they need to grow large and strong.

Antlers are used as weapons in the animal world, as well as attracting a mate by showing off their impressive rack of antlers to the ladies.

Almost all of these types of animals grows a brand new rack of antlers each and every year. You are probably thinking, “How on Earth do they grow that quickly?”

Well, yes, I can understand your question…The sheer size of some of the antlers you see on these animals is truly impressive, to say the least.

Antlers are the fastest growing mammal bones in the animal kingdom. Then, each year, they simply fall off and start anew from the pedicles they come out from on the tops of these animals skulls.

Now, some species, such as the sambar, last several years. Artic through temperate zones show these animals to stay of a somewhat yearly schedule of shedding their antlers, whereas, some tropical species are known to drop their antlers more than once per year or at different times of the year.

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I hope you enjoy this Mammal post on Exotic Animal Lover. Until next time…

Live Exotically!

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