Ossicone facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Giraffe ossicones at binder parz zoo
Ossicones of a reticulated giraffe.
Sivatherium maurusium ossicone
Fossilised antler-like ossicone of Sivatherium maurusium

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. 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 rather than living bone, and that the ossicones remain covered in skin and fur, rather than horny keratin. 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.


Ossicone Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.