Go to Top

Deer Antlers

Antlers are outgrowths of the frontal bones, which occur in deer under many forms, and may be functionally compared with bones, which have quite a different structure. During their period of growth antlers are covered with a vascular, hairy skin, known as velevet, which is exceedingly sensitive and well supplied with blood. As the period of growth is completed the velvet dries up, is rubbed off, and leaves the bare and insensitive bone to constitute a powerful weapon of offence and defence. The atler is not attached directly to the scull, but to a stalk or pedicle of varing length, the junction of antler and redicle being marked by a bony ring, the burr. Beneath the burr bone absoption take place, with the result that, late in the season, the antler falls of its own weight, or is knocked of by the deer, to be renewed againg in the following spring.Except in the reindeer, antlers are confined to the male sex, and are altogether absent only in the musk-deer (Moschus) and the Chinese water-deer (Hydropotes). Their degree of development varies enormously from the minute points of the Chinese Elaphodus to the huge structures found in the extinct Irish deer or the living elk. A point of great interest in the parallelizm between the yearly increase in complexity of the antlers of living deer, and the similar increase in series of fossil forms of differnt areas.

Deer Antlers - Raw material for the traditional Chinese medicine

Typical Forms of Antlers:
1-9. Red Deer Antler (1, burr, enlarged)
10-14. Cervus tetraceros Antler (fossil)
15. Wapiti deer Antler
16. Reindeer Antler
17. Fallow deer Antler
18. Moose Antler
19. Roebuck Antler
20. Irish deer Antler (Fossil)