My husband shared the Botany Photo of the Day site with me, since he knew I would love the byline “In science, beauty. In beauty, science. Daily,” and the photos, of course.
A friend shared the following excerpt from Animal Skulls: A Guide to North American Species, by Mark Elbroch:
"Antlers do offer some offensive and defensive benefits to the
wearer. Yet they are designed to minimize the chance of injury during
conflicts and were created for sparring, not spearing, competition.
Antlers also visually display the health and vigor of males. A moose
with a smaller rack would never challenge one with larger antlers.
One researcher, Anthony Bubenik, put this to the test with Alaskan
moose. After constructing incredibly large antlers for himself, he
joined the courting area. The males quickly backed off, and Bubenik
was unexpectedly confronted with numerous receptive females."