In the Asiatic muntjac deer we find a pair of skin-covered horns, or " pedicles," corresponding to the paired horns of the giraffe, although welded to the skull.
Pedicles arise secondary outgrowths, at first covered with skin, which (owing to the growth of a ring of bone at the base arresting the flow of blood) eventually dries up and leaves bare bone incapable of further growth.
The leading characters of antlers are described under Pecora, but these structures may be defined somewhat more fully in the following passage from the present writer's Deer of all Lands:- " Antlers are supported on a pair of solid bony processes, or pedicles, arising from the frontal bones of the skull, of which they form an inseparable portion; and if in a fully adult deer these pedicles be sawn through, they will generally be found to consist of solid, ivory-like bone, devoid of perceptible channels for the passage of blood-vessels.
The pedicles are always covered with skin well supplied with blood-vessels; and in young deer, or those in which the antlers have been comparatively recently shed, the covering of skin extends over their summits, when they appear as longer or shorter projections on the forehead, according to the species.
When the first or a new antler is about to be formed, the summits of these pedicles become tender, and bear small velvet-like knobs, which have a high temperature, and are supplied by an extra quantity of blood, which commences to deposit bony matter.
Antlers arising at acute angles to the median line of the skull (as in the following genera), at first projecting from the plane of the forehead, and then continued upwards nearly in that plane, supported on short pedicles, and furnished with a brow-tine, never regularly forked at first division, but generally of large size, and with not less than three tines; the skull without ridges on the frontals forming the bases of the pedicles of the antlers.
- Lateral metacarpals as in Cervus; antlers small, with a brow-tine and an unbranched beam, supported on long bony pedicles, continued downwards as convergent ridges on the forehead; upper canines of male large and tusk-like.
- Nearly related to the last, but the antlers still smaller, with shorter pedicles and divergent frontal ridges; upper canines of male not everted at the tips.
The main stem or beam, after giving off a short brow-tine, inclining backwards and upwards, being unbranched and pointed, and when fully developed curving inwards and somewhat downwards at the tip. These small antlers are supported upon pedicles, or processes of the frontal bones, longer than in any other deer, the front edges of these being continued downwards as strong ridges passing along the sides of the face above the eyes.
These last have coarse bristly hair of a purplish-brown colour with light markings, very large head-tufts, almost concealing the minute antlers, of which the pedicles do not extend as ribs down the face.