Epigenetical, Morphological, Physiological, and Behavioral Aspects of Evolution of Horns, Pronghorns, and Antlers

  • Anthony B. Bubenik


The fact that the “true” horns are a product of the skin, and “‘horns’ of deer” develop as bone protuberances, and thus both are not homologous by nature was already known to Aristotle (Peck 1965). Despite this, both antlers and horns are frequently considered homologous terms (Frick 1937; Geist 1966a, 1974a; Janis 1982; Kiltie 1985). Moreover, the common view that antlers and horns have been developed by natural selection primarily as weapons—a view we find in Democritos (Mulachius 1843) and supported by E. Darwin’s (1794) notion (adopted by C. Darwin 1859,1871)-persists in the present zoological systematic and behavioral interpretations (e. g Geist 1966a, 1974a; Clutton-Brock 1982; Janis 1982; Kiltie 1985).


Fallow Deer Mule Deer Antler Growth Horn Core Horn Growth 
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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1990

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  • Anthony B. Bubenik

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