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Why do deer shed their antlers?

Every year male deer, elk, and moose throughout North America grow and shed
their antlers. The shredding process is a prelude to the regrowth of larger,
fuller antlers the following year. The entire shedding process takes a mere
two to three weeks to complete, between January and April, after the autumn
mating season draws to a close. The re-growth phase is two to four  months and
takes place over the summer. Antlers are used to attract and  impress females,
and to fight with male competitors for the females' affections. In successive
years, as the deer matures, his antlers lengthen and he acquires additional
branches. One can actually determine the age of the deer from the number of
branches on his antlers, as their number increases with age.

Antlers are a solid bone tissue with a honey combed structure, the fastest

growing bone in the world.  Dogs chew through the outer
bone, cleaning their teeth and gums. 


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