Last updated on February 5th, 2022
The animal kingdom fascinates children, and they always seem to have unique questions about them. Well, it is natural because they observe animals around them in strays and as pets.
Similarly, they come across amazing animals when they see pictures or videos of unusual animals.
One such group of animals that I wanted to discuss with my fourth graders was animals that have curved horns. They were surprised to learn that animals had different types of horns.
It was an eye-opener for me because as I researched these creatures, I, too, learned so many new things. Some of the animals that have curved horns are as follows:
17 Animals That Have Curved Horns
|Common Name||Scientific Name||Horn Length||Habitat|
|1. Blackbuck||Antilope cervicapra||15 – 25 inches||Asia & India|
|2. Cattle||Bos taurus||10 – 100 inches||South America, Europe, Africa & Asia|
|3. Antelope||Antilocapra americana||5.5 – 16.5 inches||Africa|
|4. Wildebeest||Connochaetes||15.5 – 32 inches||Eastern Africa|
|5. Mouflon||Ovis orientalis orientalis||18 – 32 inches||Eastern Turkey & Iran|
|6. Kudu||Tragelaphus strepsiceros||47 – 75 inches||East & South Africa|
|7. Bharal||Pseudois nayaur||7.8 – 31.5 inches||Indian, Tibet & South Asia|
|8. Hartebeest||Alcelaphus buselaphus||17.7 – 27.6 inches||Sub-Saharan Africa|
|9. Impala||Aepyceros melampus||18 – 37 inches||Southern Africa|
|10. Markhor||Capra falconeri||24 – 60 inches||Central & South Asia|
|11. Eland||Taurotragus oryx||17 – 27 inches||Africa|
|12. Waterbuck||Kobus ellipsiprymnus||22 – 39 inches||Eastern Africa|
|13. Nyala||Tragelaphus angasii||24 – 33 inches||Africa|
|14. Southern Reedbuck||Redunca arundinum||10 – 14 inches||South Africa|
|15. Bongo||Tragelaphus eurycerus||33 – 57 inches||Central & West Africa|
|16. Common Tsessebe||Damaliscus lunatus||14 – 16 inches||Africa|
|17. Musk Ox||Ovibos moschatus||24 – 28 inches||Arctic|
The long curved horns can easily distinguish the male blackbuck. You will see that its spiraling horns rise from the base of its head straight up.
They are not only attractive but display a uniquely curved upward spiral shape. Since the horns are incredibly sharp, the creature uses them as a protective mechanism.
The horns are used by the blackbuck to ward off predators and to protect its herd. On average, the horn of an adult blackbuck can grow between 15-25 inches, however, the female blackbuck does not have any horns.
When you see cows, you will find that the horns of these animals are either curved upwards or downwards. Depending on the breed of the cattle, the curvature of the horns of the cows differs.
For example, the Texas Longhorn, Ankole-Watusi, and Chillingham Cattle have horns curved upwards, while the English Longhorn has horns that curve downward.
Other than that, the usual breeds of cows also have curved horns that are sharp and pointed.
Unlike other creatures in the case of cattle, both bulls and cows have horns. This is because cows have horns to protect themselves and their young ones from predators.
Antelopes are unique creatures that have strong, sharp, spirally, and curved horns. Like cows, both the bull and the female antelopes have horns.
In the case of antelopes, the horns are made of a fibrous structural protein called keratin, making these extremely hard.
When it comes to the male antelopes, the horns are used for defense and in territorial battles.
Antelopes also use the horns as a device to attract the female during mating season.
Whereas in the case of female antelopes, the horns are entirely for defense as she uses them to protect herself and her young ones against predators.
The wildebeest belongs to the antelope family, but the shape of its horns and body makes it appear more bovine.
Unlike other creatures that use their horns to defend themselves. If you observe the horns of a wildebeest, it is almost shaped like a bow and is curved upward and they use them in territorial battles.
The male wildebeest uses its horns to push out other males from its territory when competing for the female wildebeest that are in their oestrus cycle.
The Mouflon is often considered to be the forefathers of the modern-day domesticated sheep. Its uniquely curved horns can easily distinguish this magnificent creature. The horns of a male Mouflon are massive and curves downward.
In many other horned creatures, you may not find symmetry in the two horns of the animal. But in the case of a Mouflon, there is complete symmetry.
There is symmetry even in the ridges on the animal’s horns. These ridged horns add to the overall beauty of the creature.
The Kudus is one of the largest antelopes, and their large spirally curved horns can easily distinguish them.
When you see male kudus, you can quickly determine the creature by its vast horns.
Kudus have such long and spirally horns because the males often spar for territory or the attention of a female by interlocking horns.
Additionally, the spirally and curved design of the horns gives the males a better grip allowing them to fight better.
The Bharal is also known as the Blue Sheep and is native to India, South Asia, and Tibet and can be distinguished by its stocky build along with broad, curved horns.
This particular breed of sheep inhabits the foothills of the Himalayas primarily. In the case of the Bharal, you will find that both the males and the females have curved horns.
But the male horns are much bigger than the females. This is because the horns of a Bharal grow upward, then sideways, only to make a slight curl at the end or completely curve downward.
This gives the horns the unique shape of an upside-down mustache.
The hartebeest has unusually curved horns. If you see the curvature of the horns of a hartebeest, you will see that this rises and curves outwards at the top with the horn tip facing its tail.
The complex curvature of the horns is essential because the hartebeest is territorial and needs to fight with other hartebeests to maintain its lordship over a territory and its females.
Therefore, the curvature of its horns is necessary for a hartebeest to hold its opponent down.
Impalas have horns that are curved, long, and ridged. It is often considered to be shaped like a lyre. The horns on an impala are used as a defense mechanism.
On average, the horns on a male impala can grow up to 37 inches, and the creature can use it to gore a predator to death.
Similarly, the male impala uses its horns to protect its territory. This is why you will often see two male impalas fighting by ‘locking horns’ with each other.
The Markor is a large species of goat native to Central Asia. You can easily make out a Markhor by its massive corkscrew-like horns. Its horns are not just curved but also twisted.
The Markhor seldom uses its horns for defense. Instead, it usually uses the horns in territorial battles.
In territorial conflicts, one Markhor will try to hold down the other with its horns and keep its enemy down until it gives up.
The horns of this creature are truly a piece of art bestowed upon us by nature.
This creature is native to Eastern and Southern Africa and its horns are considered to be curved because of the spirals.
Elands use the horns both to defend themselves and during territorial battles. The rings in the horns allow the Eland to ‘lock horns’ better with its opponent. It can stay connected with the opponent and push it back.
The waterbuck is a large antelope, and its long, steady and ridged horns can easily distinguish the male.
The rings on the horns of a waterbuck give it a ridged appearance. The horns of a male waterbuck can extend up to 39 inches from the base to the tip.
Like other antelope family members, the waterbuck also uses its horns to defend itself and fight other waterbucks over territory.
The Nyala is native to the Eastern side of South Africa and is also a member of the antelope family.
You can distinguish a Nyala from other similar African antelopes by its sloping horns and white stripes on its back.
The open spiral horns of the Nyala acts as a defense mechanism and also as a weapon in territorial battles.
The bull Nyala often has to fight for territories and the lordship over the females in a herd.
14. Southern Reedbuck
The Southern Reedbuck is also an antelope found in Africa. The creature gets its name from the shape of its horns.
The Latin word ‘reduncas’ means bent backward and curved. If you observe the horns of a Reedbuck antelope, you will find that these are bent and curved.
Moreover, unlike other members of the antelope family, the horns on the head of Southern Reedbuck are entirely symmetrical, giving it a total curvature when you consider the two horns together.
Hence, scientists gave the creature the name Southern Reedbuck.
Bongo is one of the largest of the antelope family. It is also one of the few members of the antelope family where both male and female Bongos have horns.
The horns on the head of the female bongo are smaller compared to the male. But when this creature fully matures, the horns grow pretty massive and have tight spirals.
Male and female bongos use the horns to protect themselves and their young ones from predators.
The males use the horns in territorial battles to establish their supremacy.
16. Common Tsessebe
The common tsessebe is an African antelope with spirally and twisted horns. But the horns on the females are shorter than the males.
In a common tsessebe, the horn on a female has an average length of 37 centimeters while that of a male will be at least 40 centimeters.
The horns, in the case of common tsessebe, are used primarily for defense. The females use the horns to protect themselves and the young ones from danger.
The males do not use the horns for territorial dominance but to defend themselves from predators.
17. Musk Ox
The musk ox is an animal that closely resembles the buffalos, bison, yaks, and cows, however, this creature belongs to the family of sheep and goats.
The horns of this animal are quite unique because it doesn’t grow upward and curves or spirals but it rather looks like a forehead covering that grows downwards off the sides of its face and curves upwards.
Since this animal has a thick coat, it makes perfect sense as to why their native habitat is in the Arctic regions.