Sexual Dimorphism: The Horns of African Antelopes

Science  16 Sep 1983:
Vol. 221, Issue 4616, pp. 1191-1193
DOI: 10.1126/science.221.4616.1191


Comparisons of the horns of males and females across genera of African antelopes indicate that male horns are better adapted for clashing or pushing against another pair of horns during intrasexual combat. The horns of females are relatively more specialized as stabbing weapons. Horns in females are found in only half the genera and in those genera where females have horns, the genera are heavier than genera with hornless females.