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Analysis of antler composition and mechanical properties reveal key micro-minerals for deer

AuthorsLandete-Castillejos, Tomás ; García, Andrés J. ; Serrano, Martina P.; Ceacero, Francisco ; Cappelli, Jamil; Gambin, Pablo; Gallego, Laureano
Issue Date2016
CitationDeer nutrition and feeding (2016)
AbstractDeer antlers, apart from a desired trophy, are one of the most incredible structures in animals. They are the only bone that grows out of the body, and this means that it is easily accessible to study bone biology, a characteristic that would make antlers end up sooner or later being used for medical studies. Not only that, they grow and are cast every year. This makes them incredibly costly: it is known from XIX century that antlers constitute from 1 to 5% of body weight, but our group has calculated that this means around 20% of the skeleton weight. The speed of growth is the largest of any animal tissue except cancer, achieving rates of 1 to 4 cm per day. This speed is so fast that the diet cannot support the need of minerals for the growing antler, so that a deer has to transfer this 20% of their skeleton from bones to antlers. This produces a process similar to osteoporosis in humans, with the sole difference that it is reversible: deer suffer this process of osteoporosis in the spring and summer of each year, and they recover in later summer and autumn. In fact, this well-known finding that deer undergo an osteoporosis-like process gave us a hint that there might be possible applications of antler studies to human medicine.
DescriptionTrabajo presentado a la Jornada "Deer nutrition and feeding", celebrada en Jablonné nad Orlicí (Czech Republic) el 30 de marzo de 2016.
Appears in Collections:(IREC) Comunicaciones congresos
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