Denali Antlers


Grown as an extension of their skull generally by only male deer and antelope, antlers are used to attract females and also for fighting other males. Reindeer are the exception where both the male and the female of the species grow antlers (they use them to clear snow to get access to the vegetation beneath so it is practical for both sexes to have them).

Antlers on display at Toklat River Denali NP Alaska
Moose and Caribou Antlers on display at Toklat River
Antlers on display at Toklat River Denali NP Alaska
Antlers on display at Toklat River

Amazingly given the size they can reach, many of the species that have antlers in temperate and arctic zones shed and regrow them each year! When you see them covered in velvet you know they are growing new antlers. The velvet provides oxygen and the required nutrients to grow the necessary bone to form the antlers.

reindeer Denali NP Alaska
This passing Reindeer (with a tracking collar) gives you some idea of the enormity antlers can reach (note the velvet on them)
Antlers Eieleson Visitor Centre Denali NP Alaska
Imagine lugging these around on top of your head (they are heavy)!
Bull Reindeer Denali NP Alaska
A big bull Reindeer on the ridge
Bull Reindeer Denali NP Alaska
This is a fine example of large Reindeer antlers
Bull Moose Denali NP Alaska
Impressive Bull Moose antlers

It is fascinating to see these big antlers but as always it is so much better to see them on the magnificent creatures that grow them. Luckily Denali National Park offers plenty of opportunities to see big bull Reindeers and Moose.

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