Elk NetworkWhen are a bull’s antlers bright white and streaked with blood?

Conservation | January 19, 2018

No, not after your kids use a couple of old sheds in a sword fight, but in late August. It is then bulls shed the velvet skin that has encased their growing antlers for roughly 150 days. Amazingly, they go from full velvet to hard brown antlers in less than 48 hours. When the wraps first come off, bull’s antlers are bright white and streaked with crimson blood. Rubbed against trees and shrubs and reacting to oxygen, they quickly stain a deep mahogany.

Unlike horns that grow from the base, antlers grow from the tips. Being one of the fastest growing tissues in nature, antlers can grow as much as an inch every day.

Photo c/o Charlie Cropp