Animals with Horns – Have you ever considered how would you look with a horn on your head? Oh so weird! Indeed it is, but for animals this is their assets that reflect their masculinity. Not for all, but for a few animals it is true. In fact, you will be amused to know that there are certain animals that fight an epic battle with horns to determine their mating rights. You must be getting curious to know the name of these super cool males. Well, you will taste the flavor of valor, but before that let’s understand the difference between horns and antlers, as this list contains the names of animals with horns as well as antlers.
Difference between antlers and horns
Antlers and horns are two absolutely different things. Antlers grow and shed every year while horns never shed and grow for the whole life of the animals. Usually found on males, antlers are real bone single structure and are an extension of animals’ skull. This doesn’t mean that horns are not an extension of skulls. It is just that it is covered with hair follicles, which are similar to our nails.
Also Read: Animals with Hooves.
Now, let us stroll down to have a look at the list of animals that have horns.
Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis)
Let’s start with the ones who will die for their love. Yes, here is one of the deer like animals with horns that are famous for their clash of horns. During this clash, the chance of losing the life is quite high for these mountain sheep of North America. These vegetarian animals born with horns are an expert in climbing high and rocky mountains. However, today their population is diminishing day by day due to rampant hunting.
Indian Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis)
This Asian one-horned Rhinoceros is not the one belonging to the animals with big horns, still, it is intriguing. Primarily found in northern India and Nepal, these beasts have a superb flexible coat that helps them while moving. You can find their relatives in Africa that have two horns. Interestingly, these Great Indian animals with a single horn are herbivores and have horns made up of a protein known as keratin rather than bone.
Swamp Deer (Rucervus duvaucelii)
Although, Swamp Deer or Barasingha do not have horns, still if the names of the animals with horns come to your mind, then you can’t forget this deer. Strikingly, male Swamp deer found in grasslands of India and Nepal fights for harems of up to 30 female swamp deer. The antlers of this animal have a concentration of six to eight tips and resemble like a crown. Sadly, this animal with antlers is listed as an endangered species in the world.
Moose (Alces alces)
These animals with antlers are found in forest areas of Northern America, Northern Europe, cold regions of Asia, Siberia and Baltic regions. One of the largest living deer on earth, Moose has antlers that have a striking resemblance to the palm of a hand with outstretched fingers. Amazingly, the North American moose have larger antlers in comparison to the ones found in Europe. This animal has dangling muzzles over their chins and prefers eating shrubs and pinecones.
Addax Antelope (Addax nasomaculatus)
Also, known as white antelope this African animal with long horns is critically endangered now. You will be surprised to know that these animals have white coats, which reflect sunlight and keeps them warm. It has twisted horns and that is why this animal has got another name “screwhorn antelope”. These are vegetarian and both male and female have horns.
Bharal (Pseudois nayaur)
Call it Bharal or Himalayan Blue Sheep, these animals with horns can camouflage and won’t run even if you approach near. Against the rocks of Himalayas, it becomes difficult to recognize it. You can find these sheep-like animals with horns in the Indian subcontinent, Himalayas, Asia and China. Both the males and the females have horns. However, the horns of the males are longer in comparison to female Bharals. Unlike other animals with horns on their head, Bharals have very strange horns that grow up and then out to the side before pointing backward. Being excellent climbers, these deer like animals with horns prefer eating mosses, lichens, plants, and grass.
Nubian Ibex (Capra nubiana)
These wild goats live in the mountains of Europe, north-central Asia, and northern Africa. The long curved horns and beard of a male Ibex play a crucial role in attracting females during breeding season, which is also known as the rut. In fact, males of the bachelor herd (i.e. the male herd) spread a scent through their beards to draw the attention of females during the rut and fight with their horns for the right to breed. Being a herbivore, this animal with big horns enjoys eating grasses, shrubs, and bushes.
Saiga (Saiga tatarica)
Have you heard Bryan Adams song “Everything I do”, especially the line – Don’t tell me it’s not worth fightin’ for/I can’t help it; there’s nothin’ I want more? If yes, then you will agree to dedicate these lines to a male Saiga, as these males with their longhorns fight with the rivals during the mating season. Perhaps that is why the mortality rate of Saiga during breeding season is 90%. In addition to this, Saiga is also famous for their long and exhausting migrations, which takes place every year. Found in Asia and southeastern parts of Europe, like Mongolia, Russia, etc, the horns of Saiga are used in Chinese traditional medicine. The cuteness of Saiga also asking to add it to the most cute animals in the world.
Markhor (Capra falconeri)
Markhor tops the list of animals, as a male Markhor can have a horn of about 63 inches long. Interestingly, both the males and females have horns, but of different size. A female Markhor has 10 inches longhorns. Furthermore, this animal has corkscrew-like spiral horns that are used by males for fighting during the breeding season in order to establish the dominance and get an opportunity to mate. This goat-like animal with horns is found mainly in the central and western parts of Asia. Also, both males and females have a beard. The females have short, black beards, whereas male Markhor has a long shaggy hair on the chin, throat, and chest. The horns of this animal are used in traditional Asian medicine.
Take Away point: If you are looking for the animal born with horns, then you must know that Giraffe is the only animal born with horns. Surprisingly, the thing which you call as a horn of a Giraffe is technically ossicones that are found both in males and females. Formed from ossified cartilage and covered in skin, these are not attached to the skull of a Giraffe and lie flat to avoid any injury during the birth.