What Is The Mammal Born With Horns? Get To Know One Of The Largest Land Creatures
One of the best-known animals in the world is the giraffe. They have gained the admiration and fandom of virtually everyone alive thanks to their long necks, spotted coats, gangly legs, and kind smiles. But, do you know a giraffe is a mammal born with horns? Let's dig into it.
You hardly ever run into someone who doesn't think giraffes are adorable. However, despite being obvious and plainly somewhat weird, there is a feature of their appearance that is rarely questioned. They have an odd set of horns, which are that element.
Ossicones, sometimes known as giraffe horns, are far more complex than they initially appear. This article delves into intriguing information about giraffe, the mammal born with horn.
Here is all the information you require regarding giraffe horns.
This inquiry could appear strange. Giraffes undoubtedly have horns, right? Everyone has seen them. But when you look at a giraffe's head, you don't actually see any horns. Or, at the very least, not a real set of horns.
Then, with a smirk on your face, you might be wondering, "Do giraffes have antlers?" Once more, the response is no!
They are actually a pair of ossicones. These have some significant differences from actual horns and antlers. Even so, ossicones resemble these other types of headgear in practice. Therefore, occasionally you may see the word "horns" in place of "ossicones" in this post.
Why do GIRAFFES have horns?
Giraffes have ossicones in some form, whether they are female, male, young, old, or everything in between. However, these odd protrusions vary based on the giraffe's age and gender.
The ossicones of female giraffes are comparatively slender, with a tuft of hair protruding from the top. For juvenile giraffes of both sexes, the same is true.
However, adult male giraffes' ossicones tend to be bigger, thicker, and typically hairless on top. However, the cause of these variances is not male pattern baldness.
On their heads, certain giraffe species also develop smaller ossicones that resemble bumps rather than horns. Males typically have larger versions of these bumps than females do.
A male giraffe's head may include up to five ossicones, including the classic pair. Two bumps behind the main set and one bump above the nose bridge make up the extras.
One characteristic that distinguishes male Northern and reticulated giraffes from their Southern and Masai counterparts is the front bump, which is especially noticeable in these individuals. The Northern giraffe is in fact also referred to as the "three-horned giraffe."
Ossicones get their name from the Middle French term "cone," which means a peak or cone, and the Latin word "os," which means bone. They are translated into the amiable English phrase "bone cones," which is pretty appropriate.
Ossicones, however, aren't actually constructed from live bone. Instead, they are made of ossified cartilage, which has basically been converted into bone-like, hard tissue.
In contrast to horns and antlers, which are covered in velvet or keratin, these structures are covered in skin and fur. In addition, the antler's distinctive seasonal shedding does not occur in ossicones.
Only giraffes, okapis, and a few of its long-extinct cousins have these horn-like protuberances.
They don't appear to be big enough or pointy enough to qualify as weapons. However, evolution teaches us that they had to have served a purpose at some point.
In actuality, no one is really sure why giraffes have ossicones. They probably represent the remains of more functional appendages that were present in ancient predecessors. Perhaps protrusions with bigger attachments to the head.
However, male giraffes do use their ossicones, despite the fact that they don't appear to be particularly important to modern giraffes. The bony antennae provide the head weight, which is advantageous in battle.
Male giraffes engage in combat by swinging their long necks and slamming their opponents with their heads. So, adding a pair of pointed protrusions and a little bit of extra weight is a good thing.
Recall the male giraffes' hairless ossicones. Necking is the true offender. As a result of years of noggin-knocking with other men, their ossicones eventually go bald.
The act of giving birth to a calf with razor-sharp horns cannot be safe or comfortable. Therefore, it makes sense that this does not happen frequently in the animal kingdom. Actually, the only mammal born with horns is the giraffe.
The protrusions, fortunately for mother giraffes, have a cunning manner of shielding both participants. The ossicones are not fused to the skull at birth.
So, they can lie flat on the head of a baby giraffe, which is without a doubt the cutest animal on the savannah.
The ossicones are still mushy cartilage at this point because the ossification process doesn't start until after delivery.
But after time, the ossicones harden and fuse with the skull, giving adult giraffes their distinctive crowns. There may be more to the common giraffe horn than most people realize.
The giraffe is the only mammal born with horns
The mammals with horns are called Antilocapridae (pronghorn) and Bovidae families of ruminant artiodactyl mammals (cattle, goats, antelope, etc.).
Yes, Giraffes have ossicles aka horns on both males and females. Ossicones are present at birth in giraffes, but they are only tiny, cartilage-covered bony cores that lie flat and are not linked to the skull to prevent damage during delivery.
Yes, small horns wrapped in the hair are present at birth on the calf.
Yes, the majority of goats in the US nowadays are born with horns, but many dairy goat owners decide to de-horn them while they're young for a variety of reasons (usually through disbudding).
Giraffe is a mammal born with horns. You might not believe this but this is true. These horns do more than just give one of your favorite safari animals a distinctive look.
The ossicones of giraffes can tell us about their sexand whether or not they enjoy fighting. They can also aid in identifying various species.
They share legends about a long-ago era as well as the giraffe lifestyle. Stories that provide insight into ancient creatures as well as the little-known okapis that are still present in Africa today.