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How mammals got their horns (and other headgear)

UCMP's Katherine Brakora and UCMP alums Edward Davis (now at University of Oregon) and Andrew Lee (now at Midwestern University) reviewed the evolution of mammal headgear in the latest edition of Proceedings of the Royal Society B. They examined phylogeny, development and fossil histology to establish a clearer picture of the evolution of these cranial appendages. This work has biomedical implications as well — understanding fast-growing antler bone may help with treating burns, bone cancer, osteoporosis and more.

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Elk photo by Gerald and Buff Corsi © California Academy of Sciences