IMR Press / FBE / Volume 4 / Issue 7 / DOI: 10.2741/E545

Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite (FBE) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 2 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.


A review of factors affecting antler composition and mechanics

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1 IREC Sec Albacete, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, UCLM, Albacete, Spain
2 Instituto de Desarrollo Regional, IDR, UCLM, Albacete, Spain
3 ETSIA, UCLM, 02071 Albacete, Spain
4 Institute of Animal Science, Praha, Czech Republic

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Front. Biosci. (Elite Ed) 2012, 4(7), 2328–2339;
Published: 1 June 2012

Antlers constitute the only mammal model for limb regeneration. A number of factors affect antler regeneration. In this review, we examine such factors and the potential consequences for organ regeneration. As body mineral stores are depleted to grow antlers, physiological exhaustion is shown in the mineral composition, mechanical performance and, according to preliminary studies, porosity of the antler bone material. Nutrition plays an important role in antler characteristics. Thus, antler composition can be used as a diagnostic tool to assess mineral deficiencies in deer. Studies on ecological effects of exceptional weather in plants suggest that minor minerals, particularly Mn, may disproportionately play roles in mechanical performance of bone material. This suggests that Mn (and perhaps other minerals) is essential to incorporate Ca and P from resorbed skeleton material into antlers. Apart from implications for game management, some effects may have applications for medicine.

Mineral composition
Mechanical properties
Wildlife management
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