Many kinds of animals, especially males, have horns and antlers. It aids in attracting females as well as protecting against predators and competition. Actually, horns and antlers are not the same things. Horns are the permanent, unbranched extension of an animal’s skull, while antlers are a branching part of the skull consisting of dead bones.
Now up the horns! Oh man, these are good horns
The Markhor is a big wild goat species. Shakawat is another name for it. The Persian term for snake is thought to have been used to name the markhor, either because of its giant curled horns or its ability to kill snakes.
Markhor males and females have corkscrew-like horns tightly coiled at the head but extend upwards near the points. The horns of males can be up to 160 cm long, while the females’ horns can be up to 25 cm long. It is critically endangered, with an estimated 2,500 left in the wild partly due to being hunted for its spectacular spiral horns, which can grow to over 5 feet long.
Its shotgun-like nose filters out environmental dust, and we believe it warms the cold winter air before it reaches the animals’ lungs. It has spiralling horns that are pale, dusky pink with a jade-like sheen. It is also critically endangered; Learn more about the noble, floppy-nosed saiga’s predicament here.
#3 Nubian Ibex
The Nubian ibex’s massive, upside-down horns are all the more amazing when you know that ibex uses them to stab male opponents while perched atop treacherous slopes in North Africa and Arabia. There are several different varieties of ibex, and no one knows if they are the same species, so alpine ibex enthusiasts, don’t be disappointed if the Nubian version is up here instead.
According to reliable sources, due to the bluish colour of its fur, the bharal is also known as the Himalayan blue sheep. We spent a long time looking at pictures of bharals online in the spirit of reporting and were very disappointed to report that this sheep was not actually blue. But! It has great horns. Sheep horns tend to be wider and smoother than narrow, knobbly goat horns, and the bharal has some exceptionally smooth and broad horns.
# 5 Addax
The addax is also known as the screw-horned antelope and the white antelope. This is the lifestyle of people living in the Sahara desert. The addax’s horns are long and twisted, measuring 55 to 80 cm in females and 70 to 85 cm in males. 2-3 twists can be observed on the horns of both males and females. A series of 30 to 35 ring-shaped ridges run along the lower and middle regions of the horns.
# 6 Mouflon
The mouflon is considered the ancestor of the domestic sheep we know today. The mouflon has lost its magnificent horns. Its strong curves make you question why “sheep” could connote meekness at some point in the domestication process.
Blackbuck originates from the Indian subcontinent. The genus Antilope has only one extant species, the warbler. Horns are only found in males. These horns are divergent, cylindrical, spiral, and transparent circles. Near to the cranium, the rings are closer together. It was a favoured hunting target for the wealthy due to its amazing horns and interesting reverse-raccoon patterning until someone realized there was barely any left.
#8 Scimitar-Horned Oryx
The scimitar-horned oryx is the buffalo of North Africa: formerly widespread and roaming the savanna in large herds, it was killed (for its horns rather than meat, although it was eaten) and extinct. What’s more interesting, oryx is no longer found in the wild but only in zoos. Although it is not a large animal, its horns can grow up to 4 feet long.
The moose is the largest living species of the deer family. The palmate antlers of males distinguish moose. The size and growth rate of antlers are determined by diet and age. Male antlers grow in cylindrical clusters projecting on each side of the head.
Moose antlers are broad and flat, with spots along the outer edge. The antlers are more than 200 cm long with a weight of about 36 kg. After the mating season, the male will shed antlers to save energy for the winter. A new set of antlers will then regrow in the spring.
# 10 Caribou
Caribou have been called wild reindeer or reindeer, especially in Alaska. Caribou and reindeer are the same species. They are the only deer species whose both males and females have antlers.
The caribou’s antlers grow forward and are used to scrape through the snow for food in the winter. Large male antlers can reach a width of 100 cm and a cluster length of 135 cm. Among extant deer species, they have the largest antlers in proportion to their body size.