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Thread: who do deer valvet

  1. #1

    who do deer valvet

    Hiya this might of been asked before and to most it might be a stupid question but why do deer go to valvet?

    dan

  2. #2
    The velvet is the mechanism by which it can grow antlers (bone)! Bone won't grow outside the body like horn (keratin) bone needs a blood supply and surrounding tissue, hence the velvet provides blood vessels and tissue around the bone whilst it grows.

    Alex

  3. #3

  4. #4
    I slant on the original question but why do deer shed then regrow antlers every year? The physical strains on the body to do this must be immense, a not inconsiderable amount of calcium and other minerals being removed from the bone structure to build them, only for them to fall off again after less than a year then repeat the process. Biologically it seems a crazy process.

  5. #5
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    mudman

    It does seem crazy and a lot of wasted effort. I'm sure Morena can provide the correct science, but as I understand it the cycle of antler growth is down to sex and hormones, testosterone in particular.

    Antlers are needed primarily for breeding purposes (e.g. attracting a mate, fighting for territory, fraying, etc), so the increased production of testosterone causes the start of antler growth. As testosterone rises so the velvet is shed and the antlers harden off. After the rut the level of testosterone reduces, causing the separation between antler and pedicle and the resulting casting of the antlers.

    There is an interesting article here: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/burn/Short.pdf pointing out that antler growth is the only example of organ or limb regeneration in mammals, which I didn't know or hadn't realised.

    As you say, it seems crazy to expend so much effort on an annual basis.

    willie_gunn

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by mudman View Post
    I slant on the original question but why do deer shed then regrow antlers every year? The physical strains on the body to do this must be immense, a not inconsiderable amount of calcium and other minerals being removed from the bone structure to build them, only for them to fall off again after less than a year then repeat the process. Biologically it seems a crazy process.

    The main reason that nature has evolved them to regrow new antlers is for the very reason one set just would not last them a lifetime, they get broken and stressed so much I have seen a large red stag with an antler broken at the beam the force exerted must have been immense so they shed and regrow when you think about it its natures insurance policy against loss/damage pretty cool dont you think

  7. #7
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Another interesting article on antler growth in red deer: http://www.reproduction-online.org/c...int/71/1/7.pdf

    And one on antler growth in surgically castrated fallow http://www.reproduction-online.org/c...int/71/1/7.pdf

    The wonders of the Internet.....

    willie_gunn

  8. #8
    Following on from this, why do roe bread out of synch with nature? The delaying of the development of the foetus along with the regrowing of antler in the worst time of year food wise seems crazy. Most things in nature are very logical, but for a species to need to resort to such complex and difficult solutions puzzles me. Why did they simply not evolve their breeding cycle to be in tune with the seasons? I do love a little mystery.

    Mark.

  9. #9
    I suspect that Roe rut when they do as it promotes survival of the bucks. The rut is when they are going to be expending lots of energy and is going to significantly reduce their overall physical condition. After the rut they still have time to stock up on available scoff and build up reserves for the winter. Other species rutting into November get knackered and there's no food left? Clearly delayed implantation is necessary following the Roe rut, otherwise the Kids would be born too early in the year when the doe is out of condition through winter inappetence? I don't know but suspect that Roe are just a bit better evolved than all the others?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by willie_gunn View Post

    Antlers are needed primarily for breeding purposes (e.g. attracting a mate, fighting for territory, fraying, etc), so the increased production of testosterone causes the start of antler growth. As testosterone rises so the velvet is shed and the antlers harden off. After the rut the level of testosterone reduces, causing the separation between antler and pedicle and the resulting casting of the antlers.
    so where do Reindeer fit into all of this, don't tell me santa has other plans

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