When you think of giraffes, the first thing that comes to mind is probably their long necks. But another distinct feature of these animals is their horns. Giraffes are the only mammals in the world with horns! So why do they have them? Today, we’re going to take a look at the fascinating reason behind this odd anatomical feature.
Why Giraffes Have Horns
The primary purpose of a giraffe’s horns is to defend themselves and their young from predators. The horns are made of bone, and they’re covered in a thick layer of skin and hair. When a giraffe is attacked, it will use its horns to strike its attacker. The sharp point at the end of the horn can cause serious injuries, and in some cases, even death.
Giraffes are also known to use their horns to spar with other giraffes. This is most commonly seen between males during the mating season. They will swing their necks at each other and try to land a blow on the other’s head or body. While it may look like they’re trying to hurt each other, this behavior is actually just a way for them to assert their dominance over one another.
So, essentially, the giraffe’s horns can also be used as weapons in fights between two male giraffes competing for dominance—on top of the animal instinct to survive.
What Are Giraffe Horns Made Of?
Interestingly, the horns of a giraffe are not actually made of bone. They’re actually composed of a material called keratin, which is the same substance that makes up human hair and nails. The horns are covered in a thin layer of skin, and they grow throughout the giraffe’s lifetime.
So there you have it! The next time you see a giraffe, you’ll know that those horns are there for more than just show. They play an important role in the animal’s life, and they’re a fascinating example of evolution in action. Thanks for learning with us today!