- one was larger than the other
- they were slightly different colors
- one was smooth, one was rough
Why the difference between two antlers, both from whitetail deer? Well, these wondrous objects were found near a pond where we walk our dog. My husband found the larger one several years ago and it was already beginning to show signs of decay. The years of being "displayed" on our deck railing have added many more patches of moss and lichens. The smaller set of antlers was found a couple of years ago and has been inside our house, with much less decay.
Some of our students had good observations and showed background knowledge, including:
natural objects will eventually decompose; antlers may be eaten by termites, other insects, and rodents; and "one deer had larger antlers than the other". I love to hear the students' responses and ideas as they wonder - higher order thinking and critical thinking in the real world!
I've learned much after reading some of our library books shown in the photo. Did you know of these differences between antlers and horns? ( I didn't!) -
- antlers are temporary, growing each spring and being shed each fall/winter
- horns grow from year to year and are permanent (except for Pronghorn antelopes)
- horns are made of hard skin and are hollow
- antlers are made of solid bone and are not hollow