When one hears the word ‘Horns’ immediately a deer-like animal is conjured up in our imagination. But that is not the fact, horns are not limited to just Deers and Antelopes, in fact, a huge lot of other organisms also employ these appendages. What are horns then? According to Merriam Webster,” one of the usually paired bony processes that arise from the head of many ungulates and that are found in some extinct mammals and reptiles”. So basically, it’s a keratin-rich substance that is attached to the skull of the animal. (Interesting fact; Keratin is the same substance from which our nails are made!).So let’s dwell into the amazing world of Horns and see which ‘horn’ can we use to scare other drivers if we are ever stuck in traffic. Here is the list of 12 Most Amazing Horns In The Animal Kingdom,
Amazing Horns In The Animal Kingdom
Finally, the animal with the most amazing horn on this planet has arrived. The Rainbow scarab, the name itself is self-explanatory, isn’t it? Ranging in various shades of metallic hues, the males have a dark black horn that curves back towards the thorax. With its marvelous visuals, the Rainbow Scarab is also an important contributor to reducing fecal matters in the environment. Thus effectively reducing the number of diseases. Geez, who said it’s hard to find someone with Beauty and Brains?
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It is a deer found in the tundra regions of northern Europe. With experts calling it ‘fundamentally extinct’ what once used to be largest herds gathering(between 400000-1000000 at a time) has now dwindled to a mere three animal herd size. These are the reindeers who are supposedly the ones who help Santa Claus deliver gifts by pulling his Chariot.
Their antlers can measure up to 100 cms in length and 135 cms in beam length. The process of growing antlers is also known as antlergenesis. Even though technically, they are not considered as horns, Antlers serve the same purpose as horns do, and before questioning me, I ask you to see the sheer majestic thrill of such beautiful horns. Mother Nature never ceases to amuse one!
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A native of East Africa, it is also known as Kikuyu three-horned chameleon, as it possesses three brown horns, one above the other. They look similar to the long-dead dinosaur Triceratops. Their beautifully shaded skins and their menacing horns give them a very unique appearance. Historically, they were exported as pets to the United States, but now their smuggling is illegal.
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Considered to be a very social animal, it had horns made of solid keratin unlike deers and cattle, which have a bony base to their horns. The horns could measure up to 60 cms in length and were slightly shorter for the females. Their beautiful horns were their curse, as they are now so critically endangered that only two females known are alive. In March 2018, the world’s last known male white rhinoceros died in Kenya.
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5) Giant Eland
The Giant Eland belongs to one of the largest species of antelopes. Also known as Lord Derby Eland, they have tightly spiraled, V-shaped horns that can measure up to 123 cms. Already extirpated in many African countries, they too come under the category of Vulnerable, because of habitat loss and excessive hunting. It is also list as one of the Antelope Species in Africa.
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The mouflon is often coined to be the father of all modern-day domestic sheep. These vulnerable species have horns that go up to 85 cms, and a full 360-degree curve when they reach maturity. Their gracefully curved horns, along with their lithe body, never ceases to amaze even the most stoic of audiences. They are also symbolized in the Cyprus national rugby union team.
One of the dangerous goat breeds found in the desert lands of Egypt, Ethiopia, and Saudi Arabia. Their horns can measure up to one meter long. Their population is estimated to be about 1200 individuals. A fact, the biblical heroine, Yael also means Ibex in Hebrew, interesting isn’t it?
8)Texas Horned Lizard
They belong to a species which is literally called Horned lizards, and are those amazingly, annoying spiky bodied reptiles. Found in the state of Texas, it has the ability to squirt streams of blood from its eyes if it feels threatened!
9)Male Atlas Beetle
The name Atlas is derived from the Greek god Atlas, who holds the weight of the whole world on his shoulders. If one looks at this beetle one might end up feeling the same as the horns on this beetle too looks like they are big enough to carry that weight. This beetle is known for its size, an amazing 130 cms! They use their horns to win over females, like tiny soldiers with spears on a battlefield.
The Blackbuck is found in many Asian countries, like India, Nepal, and Pakistan. Unfortunately, it is now extinct in Nepal. While the females flaunt no horn, the males are famous for their ’winding appendages’. Long, threatening horns, that appear like corkscrews. Their horns go in beautiful contrast with their black, brown and white hued bodies. It can run with a speed of 50 miles per hour making it one of the fastest land animals in the world.
Saiga is an endangered animal, often found grazing in the Eurasian steppe. Other than its rather impressive horns, Saigas are known for their distinct nose, which is often closely situated, bloated nostrils which point in the downwards direction. During summer, when Saigas migrate, these nostril helps in filtering the dust, which enters because of the entire herd running and also helps in cooling down the animal’s blood. Its horns, which belong only to the male, are wax colored with pronounced rings and translucent.
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Bharal is also known as the Blue sheep. It is found in inner Mongolia and in small pockets of the Himalayas. Their horns can be up to 50 cms long and can weigh up to 7-9 kgs! They have beautifully upside down Handlebar horns, that are often used to scare away fellow attackers and to attract many females.
In conclusion, alone can notice, the variety of horns is not limited to just one purpose. Some are used for defence, some to attract the opposite gender and for some simply for ornamental purposes. Throughout this entire process, one thing was common, the beauty of evolution and it’s never-ending struggle to help its organisms survive.
These are 12 animals with the most amazing horns in the world. Kindly share and do post your comments.