Why they grow them is a question that scientists are still trying to answer. They require a great deal of energy to grow so they must offer some advantage. They don't seem to be defense against predators as only male deer grow them. If they were defense, we might expect females to also grow them. So, for males, they may be for fighting other males during the rut, or for attracting females.
"When it comes down to it, though, the only thing we can be sure of is this — why antlers? Because they're a handy weapon against other male deer! Drawing the attention of the ladies may possibly be just an extra (not primary) benefit." is the final conclusion of the Mississippi State University Deer Lab. You can read more here.
Horns, however, are for defense. They are grown by both the male and female of the family bovidae. Bovidae, are cloven hoofed, ruminant animals, such as cows.
And here is a fun game to help you learn the difference. Courtesy of our friends, the National Park Service.
|a deer rub.|
Below are some recent pictures of the deer at Cromwell Valley Park. Enjoy them, I hope.
Don't forget to go outside and play.