Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Story of Antlers

Antlers are naturally shed by deer, elk and moose. They are bony outgrowths that develop from and are attached to two protuberances called pedicles on top of the skull. While antlers are growing they are covered by a furry skin covering called velvet. The growing antlers and the velvet are supplied with oxygen and nutrients by a network of blood vessels. Growth and hardening of the antlers is completed in late July or August.

In August, increased production of testosterone cuts off the blood supply to the antlers and velvet. The velvet dies, dries up, and peels away. Further removal of velvet from antlers occurs during the rut. Among the testosterone-induced rut activities of the male, which begin in late August or September, is the thrashing of antlers against sapling trees and shrubs which rubs off the velvet and polishes the antlers while staining them.

The reduced daylight of winter diminishes testosterone production, this causes the shedding of antlers. Mature males shed them in February-March and younger males may retain theirs until May. New antlers begin to grow within days after old ones drop.

Get more facts from the site where this information came from and also look at their chandeliers and lighting options made from shed antlers.
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