Ossicone

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Ossicones of a reticulated giraffe.

Ossicones are horn-like (or antler-like) protuberances on the heads of giraffes, male okapis, and their extinct relatives, such as Sivatherium, and the climacoceratids, such as Climacoceras.[1] Only giraffes and okapis have true ossicones (as opposed to horns or antlers). The base that a deer's antlers grow from is very similar to an ossicone.

Ossicones are similar to the horns of antelopes and cattle, save that they are derived from ossified cartilage,[2] and that the ossicones remain covered in skin and fur, rather than horn. Antlers (such as on deer) are derived from bone tissue: when mature, the skin and fur covering of the antlers, termed "velvet," is sloughed and scraped off to expose the bone of the antlers.

References[edit]

  1. ^ University of Washington. University of Washington, n.d. Web. 15 Feb. 2010.[1]
  2. ^ "The Nashville Zoo at Grassmere - Animals :: Masai Giraffe." Nashville Zoo at Grassmere. The Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, n.d. Web. 15 Feb. 2010. [2]