Sonntag, 19. Februar 2017

Antilocapra americana

Hello and welcome to another entry about my collected oddities. This time I want to talk about my christmas present to myself of 2016. It's a skull of an unordinary animal. An animal, which only lives in North America. Did I arouse your curiosity? Well, then let's go under the cut! 

Actually I was looking for a "saber-toothed" deer skull. I really need a skull of a male water deer or something like that, but I stumbled over another rare skull. It's the skull of a male pronghorn! <insert blare of trumpets here>

Hello baby!
Only male pronghorns wear horns and this one was a quite well-endowed hunk ;) The oddity of pronghorns are their horns. They don't just look special, pronghorns are also the only horn wearing animals which (hold on) shed their horns every year! Yes, you read right: they shed their horns. But after sheding there are always their horn cones left.

After the rut the male "prongers" start to lose their horns, but on the horn core is already new horn material, coated with a tissue layer. It needs about ten month to grow a brand-new pair of horns.

That pair of horns doesn't look similar so I'm not sure if they really belong togehther. But maybe the horns of these animals are like boobs: one of them always grows bigger ;)

Oke, let's have a look at the teeth.They look similar like other deer teeth, only the first three premolars look strange. And the teeth of pronghorns aren't covered with that dark patina-thing like roe deer use to have.
The shape of the lower jaw is also special. There are bumps and it seems that there is something in there. Looks like a tooth?

For to be sure about that I have to break the lower jaw, but I'm not crazy so I don't do it. But maybe someone knows about these bumps and what's inside of them? Please let me know!

Well-groomed teeth. And not worn down, so that pronghorn must have been in a good age.
There's still a bit food remains inside the teeth ^^
Underside of the skull.
The size of a pronghorn is between a roe deer and red deer.

From the left to the right: male roe deer, male pronghorn, female red deer.
 That's how a pronghorn with meat on the bones looks like.

They look so beautiful! They look like antelopes but they don't belong in their family. Source: Wikipedia.
In the past people used to kill these animals out of the trains - just for fun! Like the bisons, white people killed so many pronghorns that the population shrank to a low number, but nowadays it's stable again. Anyhow there aren't as many big herds like there used to be.

I'm happy that I own such an amazing skull. It was expensive, but worth it <3

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