A lot of people are wondering why deer, elk and moose shed their antlers each season. It is the perfect time for you to find out the answer to this question.
Do deer, elk and moose lose their antlers every year?
Even though a lot of people find it hard to believe that these animals lose their antlers every year and grow them back again, this is a real fact. Almost all the animals in deer species are annually deciduous. This means that they lose their antlers and get them back each and every year. In United States this is related to mule, deer, white-tailed deer, moose, elk and caribou.
When and why do their antlers fall off?
Elk loses their antlers in March. What do you think when it starts growing back? Believe it or not, within a couple of days new antlers start to grow. The question is why deer, elk and moose shed their antlers each season? First thing you should know is that antlers are different than horns. Antlers are not the affixed to the skull, while the horns are. Antlers are right below a cover made of a live skin called velvet. This velvet has hair and nerve network and blood vessels.
When the antlers reach their complete growth, this skin called velvet dries and peels off. All that is left is hard antler that is ready for the breeding. And again in spring time, these antlers fall off and within a couple of days, new antlers grow and new velvet skin.
Antlers are not important only during their existence on the heads of deer, elk and moose but they are really important to the environment. Once the antlers fall off, they are chewed on by squirrels, mice, rats and porcupines. These antlers are full of minerals and really hard so it helps these animals to sharpen their teeth.