Animals With Horns – Pictures & Facts On Amazing Horned Animals

Bison, Asian water buffalo, African buffalo, antelopes such as springbok, blackbuck, saiga, impala, gazelles, dik-diks and oryxes; the yak and gaur; ibexes; muskox and domestic cattle are among the animals with horns. The family Bovidae includes all animals with genuine horns.

Other hoofed animals, such as rhinos and giraffes, and species from unrelated groups, such as horned lizards, chameleons, and horned vipers, have features that resemble horns but aren’t “real” horns.

Following that, you’ll find a list of animals with horns, with pictures of some of the most stunning horns in the animal kingdom.

Page Index

  • What Are Horns?
  • What Animals Have Horns?
  • Which Animal Has The Longest Horns?
  • Which Animal Has The Shortest Horns?
  • Which Animal Has The Most Horns?
  • Horns Vs Antlers
  • Why Do Animals Have Horns?
  • Further Reading

Examples Of Animals With Horns

  • Addax
  • African Buffalo
  • Alpine Ibex
  • American Bison / Buffalo
  • Bighorn Sheep
  • Bharal / Blue Sheep
  • Cattle
  • Four-Horned Antelope
  • Gaur / Indian Bison
  • Gemsbok
  • Giant Eland
  • Greater Kudu
  • Impala
  • Markhor
  • Mouflon
  • Nubian Ibex
  • Pronghorn
  • Scimitar Oryx
  • Royal Antelope
  • Saiga
  • Water Buffalo
  • Wild Water Buffalo / Asian Water Buffalo

Animals With “Horns” That Aren’t “True” Horns!

  • Rhino
  • Deer
  • Giraffe & Okapi
  • Horned Lizards
  • Horned Owls
  • Horned Vipers
  • Jackson’s Chameleon / Three-Horned Chameleon

What Are Horns?

Several hooved animals have horns, which are hard and pointed structures that grow in pairs. A horn has a central core of bone surrounded by a keratin sheaf, which is maintained by natural growths.

Keratin is a tough, stretchy, and typically occurring material that can be found in many species (including humans). Keratin is used to make body components such as nails, hair, feathers, and hooves as well as the horn outer layer.

Within a few days after birth, an animal’s horn starts to expand, and it continues to expand throughout its lifetime.

What Animals Have Horns?

“True” horns, which are bony cores encased by a keratinized sheath, are only found in hooved creatures from the families Bovidae and Antilocapridae.

Many animals (including people) have keratin, which is a hard, flexible, and naturally occurring substance. Keratin is used to make body parts such as nails, hair, feathers, and hooves; as well as the horns’ outer layer.

Shortly after birth, an animal’s horn begins to develop, and it continues to grow throughout its lifetime.

A list of various animals with horns is located farther down the page.

Do Female Animals Have Horns?

Male animals have a horn more often than female animals. Females have horns in only about half of all bovid species.

Male horns are usually larger and sturdier than female horns, even in species where both sexes have horns.

Because males of several species of horned animals utilize their horns to battle other males of the same species, this is the case. Successful males have a higher chance of reproducing, and fighting establishes dominance inside a herd. Males also grow larger horns over time as a result of this.

Other Horned Animals

A rhino’s horns lack a bony core.

Several other species have horn-like structures that are not genuine horns, such as those seen in bovids. Despite their name, they are not true horns. The bony center of a rhino horn, for example, is lacking.

Which Animal Has The Longest Horns?

The longest horns of any animal belong to the wild water buffalo, Bubalus arnee. This Asian buffalo is a species that may be found in various southern and Southeast Asian nations. Its horns may grow to be 2 m / 6.5 ft long when measured along the outside edge, with a maximum recorded tip-to-tip length of 4.24 m / 13.9 ft (Guinness Book of Records).

The wild water buffalo has been designated as an endangered species.

Which Animal Has The Shortest Horns?

The royal antelope, Neotragus pygmaeus, has the shortest horns of any animal. The Little Guinean woodlands of West Africa are home to this little antelope, which is also the world’s tiniest antelope. Its horns, which are just 3 cm / 1.18 inches long, are short and backwards-curving.

The royal antelope is classified as a least-concern species.

Which Animal Has The Most Horns?

A very small number of animals have two pairs of horns, despite the fact that nearly all horned animals have just a single pair. The four-horned antelope, Tetracerus quadricornis, a little antelope native to India and Nepal, as well as the Jacob sheep, are among them.

Horns Vs Antlers

Antlers are shed and regrown yearly, whereas horns are permanent structures that grow throughout an animal’s lifetime.

Antlers are bony structures that grow extremely quickly, then “die” and finally fall off. Horns have a core of bone surrounded by a keratinized sheath.

  • Antlers are shed and regrown every year, despite the fact that they are permanent structures that continue to grow throughout an animal’s lifetime.
  • Antlers are bony structures that grow very quickly, then “die” and finally fall off. Horns have a central core of bone surrounded by a keratinized sheath.

Why Do Animals Have Horns?

As weapons, animal horns are used, as are display items, and they serve as rudimentary scraping or digging devices.

Both as a defense against predators and as a method of battling other members of the same species, horns are employed as weapons by males during the mating season.

Bighorn sheep, for example, fight by butting while animals with lengthy, gradually-curved horns fight by interlocking their horns and wrestling.

Some animal species use their horns for show, with each horn serving as a visible example of an individual’s health and fitness.

In addition, an animal’s horns may be used to dig for food in the earth.

Below is a list of animals with some of the most amazing horns in the animal kingdom…

Examples Of Animals With Horns


Scientific name: Addax nasomaculatus

Conservation status: Critically Endangered

Max horn length: 1 m / 3.28 ft.

The addax, a Sahara Desert antelope, is native to Africa. Because of its long, gently spiraled horns, it is also known as the screwhorn antelope.

This huge, sluggish-moving desert antelope can go for many days without drinking a drop of water, obtaining all the moisture it needs from vegetation. The sun’s heat is reflected in its pale coat.

The addax has been listed as Critically Endangered because of overhunting. In the wild, it is estimated that there are less than 90 mature addaxes.

African Buffalo

Scientific name: Syncerus caffer

Conservation status: Near Threatened

Max horn length: 1 m / 3.28 ft.

The African buffalo possesses enormous horns that are joined in the middle by a bony barrier called a “boss,” and it has a long body and muscular structure. The animal’s curving horns have a greatest known distance of 1.64 m / 5.38 ft between their tips.

The African buffalo, a short-tempered and unpredictable beast, is one of Africa’s most dangerous animals. It kills about 200 people every year as a result of its actions.

Alpine Ibex

Scientific name: Capra ibex

Conservation status: Least Concern

Max horn length: 0.98 m / 3.22 ft.

The Alpine ibex belongs to the Capra genus, which includes goats and related creatures, and is one of five species of ibex. The Italian Alps are home to the Alpine ibex, which thrives on rocky areas above the treeline.

The Alpine ibex has long, bent, and ridged horns comparable to other ibexes. Horns are present in both sexes, however males have considerably more and longer horns.

American Bison / Buffalo

Scientific name: Bison bison

Conservation status: Near Threatened

Max horn length: 0.61 m / 2 ft.

One of the most well-known animals in North America is the American bison. This enormous and robust creature is the continent’s biggest land animal in terms of weight and body length. The greatest American bison weight ever recorded was 1,270 kg / 2,800 lb., comparable to a contemporary small family vehicle.

Horns are found on both sexes of American bison and may grow to be 2 feet long.

The European bison, which is somewhat taller but weighs somewhat less on average than the American bison, is one of two bison species.

While it is not closely related to “true” buffalo, such as the African buffalo or water buffalo, the American bison is also known as the buffalo.

Bharal / Blue Sheep

Scientific name: Pseudois nayaur

Conservation status: Least Concern

Max horn length: 0.8 m / 2.62 ft.

The bharal is a goat-like animal that lives in Asia’s Himalayas mountain range and is also known as the blue sheep.

The hardy animal lives in huge flocks in meadows above the treeline and can tolerate both heat and cold. Snow leopards are its major predators.

Caprines, or goat-antelopes (while they are not actual antelopes), belong to the Bovidae subfamily Caprinae. The bharal is a member of this group. The actual goats of the genus Capra belong to the Caprinae subfamily.

The horns of male bharals are large and ridged, with a curving outward and backward curve. Females’ horns are around 20 cm / 7.9 in long and straighter, goring to about 20 cm / 7.9 in.

Bighorn Sheep

Scientific name: Ovis canadensis

Conservation status: Least Concern

Max horn length: 0.96 m / 3.17 ft.

After crossing the Bering land bridge from Siberia, sheep arrived in North America around 750,000 years ago.

The Dall sheep, also known as Ovis dalli, and the bighorn sheep are two of the current North American sheep species that descend from these initial animals.

The great horns of the male bighorn sheep (females too have horns, albeit they are smaller and straighter) earned them the name. Prior to the mating season, the males utilize their horns as “battering rams” in herd battles for dominance.

In western Canada, the United States, and portions of Mexico, Bighorn sheep may be found in mountainous grassland and rocky environments.


Scientific name: Bos taurus

Conservation status: Domestic

Max horn length: 1.4 m / 4.59 ft.

Cattle, the largest bovids ever domesticated, were first domesticated 10,500 years ago. Despite the fact that different breeds of live cattle range in size and appearance, they are all members of the same species, Bos taurus.

Cattle are derived from a now- extinct wild bovid called the aurochs. In 1627, the last known aurochs died.

Four-Horned Antelope

Scientific name: Tetracerus quadricornis

Conservation status: Vulnerable

Max horn length: 0.012 m / .039 ft.

The four-horned antelope has four horns, which is particularly unusual among horned creatures (as shown by the Jacob sheep, a breed of English sheep).

Between the four-horned antelope’s ears are a hind pair of horns, while on the forehead are a front pair. The hind pair of horns is almost twice as long as the front pair, with a maximum length of 5 cm / 1.97 in. Horns are only found on males.

The four-horned antelope, one of Asia’s tiniest horned creatures, may be found in forest areas in India and Nepal.

Gaur / Indian Bison

Scientific name: Bos gaurus

Conservation status: Vulnerable

Max horn length: 1.15 m / 3.77 ft.

With males (who weigh roughly 25% more than females) weighing nearly 1,500 kg / 3,307 pounds, the gaur is the world’s largest living horned animal. Gaurs have horns, which may grow up to 1.15 m/3.77 feet long in both sexes.

The gaur has few predators because of its size and strength. The saltwater crocodile and the tiger are the only animals big enough to assault a fully grown gaur, but such assaults are uncommon; an attack on a gaur comes with the possibility of injury or death.

The gaur lives in woodlands and meadows throughout South and Southeast Asia. Both hunting and habitat destruction pose a threat to it.


Scientific name: Oryx gazella

Conservation status: Least Concern

Max horn length: 0.85 m / 2.79 ft.

The genus Oryx includes the gemsbok, a large antelope. The species is found in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe and is also known as the South African oryx. Deserts, savannas, and grasslands are all home to this species.

Female gemsbok have longer horns than males, which is unusual among animals with horns.

Giant Eland

Scientific name: Taurotragus derbianus / Tragelaphus derbianus

Conservation status: Vulnerable

Max horn length: 1.23 m / 4.04 ft.

In Africa south of the Sahara Desert, the giant eland is an antelope that lives in forests and savannas.

The giant eland is the world’s largest antelope, with a body length of up to 2.9 meters / 9.51 feet and a weight of up to 1,200 kilograms / 2,650 pounds.

The coat of this unusual species is reddish-brown with thin, vertical white stripes. Its spiraled, “corkscrew” look is seen on its horns, which are 1.23 m / 4.04 ft long. The male giant eland horns are almost twice the length of the female giant eland horns, despite the fact that both sexes have them.

Greater Kudu

Scientific name: Tragelaphus strepsiceros

Conservation status: Least Concern

Max horn length: 1.2 m / 3.94 ft.

The huge kudu’s large, pointed, and gently spiraled horns are among the most stunning in the animal kingdom. A grown male’s horns have 2.5 turns and are more than 1 m (3.28 ft) long. It’s a long tongue.

The greater kudu is one of the largest antelope species, slightly larger than the smaller kudu. Eastern and southern Africa are home to this species.

Male kudus possess horns, which are utilized to establish dominance over other males. When two combatant males’ horns get locked together, both of them may die as a consequence.


Scientific name: Aepyceros melampus

Conservation status: Least Concern

Max horn length: 0.92 m / 3.02 ft.

The male impala’s horns grow outwards and inwards to create a distinctive lyre shape. They are ridged and gently spiraled. The female is sandy-red in color, but she lacks horns like the male.

This elegant antelope thrives in light woodlands and savannas in eastern and southern Africa.

Impalas live in groups of up to 100 individuals, who reside in herds. Among the species, social grooming is widespread. Impalas jump continuously when they’re threatened, confusing potential predators.


Scientific name: Capra falconeri

Conservation status: Near Threatened

Max horn length: 1.6 m / 5.25 ft.

The goat genus Capra includes the markhor, which is found in Central Asia. It may be found on both the Karakoram and Himalaya mountain ranges, and it lives in high altitudes on mountainous, rocky terrain. Pakistan’s national animal is this species.

On account of the male markhor’s distinctive cork-screw-shaped horns, it’s also known as the “screw horn.”

The wolf, snow leopard, and Eurasian lynx are some of the predators of the markhor.


Scientific name: Ovis gmelini

Conservation status: Near Threatened

Max horn length: 0.85m / 2.79 ft.

The mouflon, a wild sheep species, belongs to the genus Ovis, like all sheep. All domestic sheep are thought to be descended from the mouflon.

Sheep were among the first animals to be domesticated, and they were domesticated between 11,000 and 9,000 B.C.

Many west Asian nations, such as Turkey, Iran, and Armenia, have populations of mouflon. Mountainous areas are its natural habitat.

The ram’s horns are robust, with an outward growth and a full circle rotation.

Nubian Ibex

Scientific name: Capra nubiana

Conservation status: Vulnerable

Max horn length: 1 m / 3.28 ft.

Capra is a goat genus that can be found in northwest Africa and the Middle East, and the Nubian ibex is a member of it. It lives in arid mountains and is a skilled climber of steep, rocky slopes, similar to other goats.

The Nubian ibex’s horns, which are lengthy and heavily ridged and backwards curving, may grow to be 1 m/3.28 ft long.

Leopards, wolves, and red foxes are among the predators of the Nubian ibex.


Scientific name:  Antilocapra americana

Conservation status: Least Concern

Max horn length: 0.43 m / 1.41 ft.

The male pronghorn’s horns have a prong-like protrusion at the front, and the species is named for this feature.

The keratinous sheath covering the bone is shed and regrown each year, making the horns of pronghorn different from those of bovids like antelope, cattle, and so on.

The pronghorn is the world’s third-fastest land animal, behind the cheetah and ostrich, and can run at speeds of up to 88.5 km/h / 55.0 mph.

Scimitar Oryx

Scientific name: Oryx dammah

Conservation status: Extinct In The Wild

Max horn length: 1.2 m / 3.94 ft.

Between 9.5 and 4.5 thousand years ago, up to a million scimitar oryx may have roamed the Sahara Desert in Africa. The species is now solely found in captivity and is extinct in the wild. Both overhunting and habitat degradation are contributing to the species’ demise.

The scimitar oryx’s long, slender, and somewhat bent horns grow to be 1.2 meters (3.94 feet) in length. It is a long film. The unicorn tale may have been inspired by the species, which looks to have a solitary horn when viewed from the side.

Royal Antelope

Scientific name: Neotragus pygmaeus

Conservation status: Least Concern

Max horn length: 0.03 m / 0.10 ft.

The royal antelope is not only the smallest antelope on the planet, but also the one with the smallest horns.

This tiny species, at just 25 cm / 9.8 inches, The Upper Guinea Forest in western Africa is home to the tallest species at the shoulder. Its horns, which grow to just 3 cm / 1.18 in length and are only seen on males, reach that size.


Scientific name: Saiga tatarica

Conservation status: Critically Endangered

Max horn length: 0.38 m / 1.25 ft.

In Asia, the saiga lives on steppes (dry grasslands) and deserts. Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia, and Uzbekistan are the four countries where this species may be found.

The horns of male saigas are ringed and lyre-shaped, and only males have them. Rival males battle for dominance of “harem” groups of females throughout the mating season.

The unusual nose of the saiga antelope aids the animal in thriving in its harsh steppe environment, which may appear strange to our eyes. In the summer, those wide nostrils keep the antelope cool and in the winter, they warm up the air.

The saiga was formerly found in large numbers and was extensively hunted until just a thousand individuals remained. The species is now considered to be critically endangered.

Water Buffalo

Scientific name: Bubalus bubalis

Conservation status: Domesticated

Max horn length: 1.52 m / 4.99 ft.

The Asian water buffalo is a domesticated mammal that may be found across Asia as well as numerous other regions of the globe.

The wild water buffalo, Bubalus arnee, is thought to be the ancestor of this species.

The cattle family, Bovidae, includes both wild and domestic water buffalo. Domestic cattle and other hooved animals like antelopes, buffaloes, and yaks are all found in this group.

Water buffalo are used for a variety of reasons, including pulling farm equipment and producing milk. It’s also a source of meat, though.

Wild Water Buffalo / Asian Water Buffalo

Scientific name: Bubalus arnee

Conservation status: Endangered

Max horn length: 2 m / 6.56 ft.

The wild water buffalo, sometimes known as the Asian buffalo, may be found from India to Thailand in southern Asia. As is typical of grasslands, forests, and woodlands near rivers, this species is closely tied to water. It spends most of its time in the water or muck.

The buffalo’s horns are the longest of any animal in the wild. The buffalo’s horns grow out to the sides before curving backwards, reaching lengths of up to 2 m / 6.56 ft.

The wild water buffalo is one of the world’s heaviest creatures with horns, bigger than the domestic water buffalo and only slightly smaller than the gaur.

The water buffalo is a protected species that is now extinct. Interbreeding with domestic water buffalo is one of the species’ most serious threats.

Animals With “Horns” That Aren’t Horns


A rhino horn is not a “true” horn, such as those seen in species of the Bovidae family, despite the fact that rhinos are well-known for their horns.

A rhino’s horn is entirely made of keratin (the same stuff that makes up hair), rather than having a bony interior core.

A rhino’s horn, like a bovid’s, develops continuously and is not replaced like a deer’s antlers when it is shed.

The white, black, and Sumatran rhinos each have two horns; the Indian and Javan rhinos have one. There are five living species of rhinoceros.


Antlers, rather than horns, are found in deer species like elk, moose, and reindeer. Antlers are different from horns in that they grow in a variety of ways, despite their similar uses.

Giraffe & Okapi

The only current member of the Giraffidae family is the giraffe and okapi.

The savannas and woodlands of sub-Saharan Africa are home to the giraffe, which is renowned for being the tallest animal in the world.

The okapi, a lesser-known and endangered species, is only found in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s woods.

Horn-like projections known as ossicones can be found on both the giraffe and the okapi. Ossicones are similar to bovid horns in that they are formed of bone and covered in skin and hair, but they differ from horns in that they are permanent.

Horned Lizards

The genus Phrynosoma contains all 21 horned lizard species. The keratin-sheathed bone centers of these reptiles’ horns are similar to those of a mammal’s. Horned lizards’ horns are sometimes referred to as “genuine” horns due to their resemblance.

In North America, horned lizards are most typically found in deserts and other arid regions. Blood from the eyes of several horned lizards is used as a defense against predators, and it is projected from their eyes.

Horned Owls

The genus Bubo includes both North American species of great and lesser horned owls. The tufts of feathers that protrude upwards on either side of the bird’s heads are not horns, but rather they are called “horns.”

Horned Vipers

The genus Cerastes includes horned vipers. Horned vipers have modified scales above each eye that are referred to as “horns.”

These “horns” have been observed in two species of the genus, Cerastes cerastes and Cerastes gasperettii. The modified scales may be used by the snake to conceal itself while hunting or to keep sand out of its eyes.

Jackson’s Chameleon / Three-Horned Chameleon

The chameleon family, Chamaeleonidae, includes Jackson’s chameleon, Trioceros jacksonii. The three-horned chameleon is the name given to this East African reptile, which has a distinctive three-horned look.

Despite the fact that Jackson’s chameleon is armed with three horns, fights between rival males are usually settled by posturing rather than real fighting.

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