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Studies on the Physiological Characteristics of (Cervus e. canadensis) Velvet Antler in Elk

  • Jeon, Byong-Tae (Korea Nokyong Research Center, Konkuk University) ;
  • Thomas, David G. (Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health, Massey University) ;
  • Cheong, Sun-Hee (Korea Nokyong Research Center, Konkuk University) ;
  • Kim, Myeong-Hwa (Korea Nokyong Research Center, Konkuk University) ;
  • Kim, Sung-Jin (Korea Nokyong Research Center, Konkuk University) ;
  • Sung, Si-Heung (Korea Nokyong Research Center, Konkuk University) ;
  • Park, Pyo-Jam (Korea Nokyong Research Center, Konkuk University) ;
  • Park, Jae-Hyun (Korea Nokyong Research Center, Konkuk University) ;
  • Moon, Sang-Ho (Korea Nokyong Research Center, Konkuk University)
  • Received : 2010.03.09
  • Accepted : 2010.06.08
  • Published : 2010.06.30

Abstract

In order to investigate the physiological properties of velvet antler of elk (Cervus e. canadensis) raised in Korea, antlers (n=378) were collected from deer in 8 provinces including Gyeonggi-do (n=53), Gangwon-do (n=49), Chungcheongbuk-do (n=62), Chungcheongnam-do (n=68), Jeollabuk-do (n=52), Jeollanam-do (n=15), Gyeongsangbuk-do (n=30) and Gyeongsangnam-do (n=49). The exterior characteristics (weight, length, girth and crown) of all antlers were measured, and 18 antler samples were randomly selected for measurement of interior characteristics such as specific gravity, capacity and diameter of cross section. The mean antler weight, length of the main beam and mean length of upper section were $4.87{\pm}1.79\;kg$, $83.7{\pm}13.2\;cm$ and $40.6{\pm}11.4\;cm$, respectively. Mean girth of the top, middle and base of the main beam were $27.1{\pm}5.9\;cm$, $22.1{\pm}3.6\;cm$ and $22.9{\pm}3.6\;cm$ respectively, indicating a slight narrowing in the middle of the antler. In each of the tines, the girth at the base was markedly thicker compared to the top. The depth of the crown at the top of the antler, and the average number of crowns and tines were $14.1{\pm}7.0\;cm$, $2.1{\pm}0.6$ and $3.0{\pm}0.5$, respectively. Although there was no significant difference in mean specific gravity between top and base, mean specific gravity of main beam tended to increase from top to base of the antler with decreasing capacity. Additionally, the inner diameter of the base of the antler was significantly reduced compared to that of the top, indicating a greater integumental thickening due to mineralization. Information on the morphological and physiological properties of elk antlers is scarce. Therefore, these results may be useful in providing basic information for the physiological properties of antler, and encourage further studies on antler morphology in other deer species showing species specific differences.

Keywords

Elk;Physiological Properties;Velvet Antler

Acknowledgement

Supported by : Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

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