Antler Velvet Color

by Tom
(Kansas City, MO, USA)

Moose Antlers Turning Pink? Photo by Mark Bulley

Moose Antlers Turning Pink? Photo by Mark Bulley

Moose Antlers Turning Pink? Photo by Mark Bulley
Some white marbling on the antlers. - Photo by Tom Blandford
Northern BC Moose antlers showing some marbling - Photo by Ernest

In Wyoming during the week of July 4th, I photographed some nice bull moose in velvet. A couple of the bulls had considerable amounts of white or very light coloration on part of their antlers. I haven't seen this before...could it be some kind of fungus or is it just normal color variation?


Second image of a bull moose with white on the velvet
Photo by Tom Blandford




That really is a good question Tom. I don't have the answer to your question right now but I will find out. A moose with white or near white velvet is nothing I have seen.

I will forward your question to a wildlife biologist I know who studies moose and ask him.

It would be helpful to see the pictures. Would be so kind as to email them to me? I would appreciate it and I'll forward them as well as put them up here if you like... so everyone can see exactly what you refer to.

Update:


Thanks for sending the pictures Tom. Quite a unique display for sure. I see now why you questioned the moose antler velvet color.

Hopefully we'll get some feedback to answer why these bulls had white on their antlers.

Were there others in the group that had this same coloration? Or was the color change unique to the individuals you photographed.

Comments for Antler Velvet Color

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Other Moose with white splotches on their antlers
by: Tom

Mark, we did observe another moose in the general area with lesser amounts of the white splotches, but he was probably 20 miles or more away.

Antler Velvet Coloration
by: Mark - Site Owner

That is an interesting phenomenon... it will be interesting to get to the bottom of this.

White on Antler
by: Mark - Site Owner

I received this reply from Dr. Crichton


The white on antler is called marbling.
We see it on caribou and moose quite frequently.
We do not have an explanation for it.

In some situations look like growth lines on underside of antler.

Dr. Vince Crichton

Thanks for the answer
by: Tom

Mark, thanks to you and Dr. Crichton for the answer. I really appreciate your responsiveness.

white antlers
by: Mark Bulley

Last night (June 25th) I photographed a bull in a pond near me, who had almost entire white antlers, even though they were still in velvet. You can see some pink in there. I'm pretty sure I've seen this fella a few week's ago, and he did not have the white, but more brown (normal) coloring.

White on Antlers
by: Header

We shot a moose about 3hrs north of Fort St. John with white velvet in with the brown. First time do me as well. Would like to know why?

Moose Biologist Comment
by: Mark

According to Dr. Vince Crichton (wildlife biologist): "I have have seen them with white and as a matter of fact most bulls in summer have some white on velvet antlers which we call marbling – I have never seen pink like this before (the first picture) – my first thoughts are a form of albinism that is showing up in antlers."

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