What is the only animal that has horns from birth?

The giraffe is the only animal that is born with horns. Male and female giraffes are born with two horn-like structures called ossicones on top of their heads.

Ossicones are made up of tough cartilage. The ossicones of giraffes are covered with skin and a fine covering of hair when they are born. The parietal portion of the skull is connected to these horns. Female ossicones are usually thinner and have a tuft of hair on the ends, whereas male ossicones are normally rounder at the top and bald.

Although the exact function of these horns is unknown, experts believe they contribute in temperature regulation. Male giraffes also use their horns to fight for breeding rights with female giraffes.

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Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


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