Stone sheep: helpless to himself

In my wildlife ecology class last fall, I remember hearing of such rams whose horns have the unfortunate trait of growing towards their face, to the point of puncturing their skin and, later, skull. Last night, I had to opportunity to attend necropsies of both a roadkilled fox and the trapped carcass of a wolverine. It was fascinating in all its gore; bright lights, bloody tables, and a very musky, metallic smell. The photo of this Stone’s sheep skull happened to be near the lab.

horn puncture Stone sheep

ingrowing horn Stone sheep

While we are on the topic of ungulates, I’d like to mention another strange phenomenon that sometimes happens with male ungulates: they get locked together (or stuck in trees). I found this photo on the internet.. a rack of antlers or a pair of horns hardly seem worthwhile. Martyrs for their masculinity, perhaps. elk locked together

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