A horn is defined as a sharp, permanent projection on the head of animals. It comprises proteins adjoining the core and a covering of keratin. Horns are usually spiral or curvy in shape and sometimes have edges. In most cases, only male animal species have horns although some few female species do. The growth of horns in animals begins immediately after birth, and they continue to develop throughout their lifetime. In the animal kingdom, most animals of different species have horns that come in different shapes and sizes. Some animals have very long horns.
Animals With Longest Horns
Asian Water Buffalo
The Asian water buffalo which is also known as Bubalus arnee of Nepal, Indian, Bhutan, and Thailand. The water buffalo has horns that can spread up to an average of one meter. However, one water buffalo that was shot in 1955 had horns that measured 4.24 meters long.
The Scimitar Oryx is also known for its long horns although it is now a nonexistent species of Oryx. It is also referred to as the Sahara Oryx and is a type of antelope that has spiral-shaped horns. Both male and female Scimitar Oryx have horns although they are slim in females. Their horns can have a length of one to 1.2 meters in both genders and curl towards the back.
The Markhor or Shakhawat is a type of wild goat that is also believed to have long horns. The horns are present in both genders. Their horns look like a corkscrew and are curly in shape. The males’ horns grow up to 160 centimeters in length. In the females, the horns grow up to 25 centimeters long.
Another type of long-horned animal is the Giant Eland which is an herbivore. Both female and male Giant Elands have horns that are spiral and V-shaped. The horns of the Giant Eland males are 123 centimeters long while in the females they are 66 centimeters long.
Capra Ibex is also categorized under animals with longest horns. It is a wild goat that inhabits the European Alps. Both male and female Capra Ibex have horns that curve backward. Male’s horns that measure between 68 to 98 centimeters long. The female Ibex’s horns, on the other hand, are a little shorter, slim and curve more to the back.
The Mouflon, a type of wild sheep, is also among the animals with longest horns in the animal kingdom. All male mouflons have horns, but some female mouflons do. Their horns have a curvy shape with approximately 85 centimeters long.
Another is the Blacbuck, also known as the Indian antelope. Blackbuck males also have some of the longest horns that are spiral and are ringed all over. Their horns are approximately 45.6 to 68.5 centimeters long.
Importance of Horns to Animals
Animals use horns in a variety of ways and for various reasons. The reasons may range from fighting among themselves for territory, reproducing priority or power, and to protecting themselves from predators. Animals can also use their horns in wooing to display their strength to females they are trying to please. Horns can also help in peeling off bark from trees and digging up soil.