Antlers are made of bone. They are grown and shed every year, and are usually branched (there is only one animal that has antlers with just one point.) Antlers are
generally grown by male members of the deer family.
grow from the pedicle, a bony platform above the frontal bone of the skull. They begin growing in late April or May, and start branching about two weeks later. By the end of May,
they are well developed and covered with "velvet," a covering of skin with nerves and blood vessels. By August, the growth period ends and the velvet begins to dry at the tips.
When the antlers are fully hardened, the velvet dies and starts to peel off in shreds. Once it is completely lost, the mating season begins. When mating season is over, the pedicle
begins to separate from the skull and breaks off as a complete set when the animal bumps into something. Only a few embryonic cells are left and these form the basis of a new pedicle and antlers,
which begin growing about six weeks later. If you visit Sagamore Hill, there is a place outside the library where you can see a set of antlers still attached to the pedicle.