hl2674's picture

Stag after shedding antlers

Observed: 6th May 2012 By: hl2674hl2674’s reputation in Mammals
Stag after shedding antlers

The stag must have recently lost his antlers as I could see a reddish mark where they had fallen off. There seemed to be some loose clumps of fur around the neck area, his coat was a light reddish brown.

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Sam Griffin's picture

This is a red deer, but it is

This is a red deer, but it is not one which has shed its antlers. It is growing antlers and they are still 'in velvet' or covered in a thin layer of skin and blood vessels which allow the hard antlers to grow. The red you can see in the photo is likely to be where he has damaged the velvet. Once the antlers are fully grown the velvet dies and the stag will rub his antlers on vegetation etc. to remove the dead skin etc. They are then ready to be used in anger! You are right that they shed them each year but when they do shed them they are left with two lumps on the top of the head known as pedicles, from which the antlers develop. The pedicles are un-branched and are part of the skull rather than the antler.

hl2674's picture

Red Deer

Thank you Sam for your comments and the additional information you supplied about the antlers.