ant·ler / ˈantlər/ • n. one of the branched horns on the head of an adult (usually male) deer, which are made of bone and are grown and cast off annually. ∎ one of the branches on such a horn. DERIVATIVES: ant·lered adj.
antler Bony outgrowth on the skulls of male deer (and female reindeer). In temperate-zone species, antlers begin to grow in early summer. They are soft, well supplied with blood, and covered with thin, velvety skin. Later, the blood recedes and the dried skin is rubbed off. Antlers then serve as sexual ornaments and weapons until they are shed the following spring. First-year males grow short spikes. More branches (points) are added each year until maturity is reached.
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