Hi I found this on my local beach in Cornwall. I am wondering if it is a rare find. It is to me anyhow. I have shown lots of my friends but no one is really sure what it could be. With all the recent storms and so many things being uncovered on the beach I am thinking it could possibly be quite old. I have googled lots of photos of many things and am thinking it could be an antler tip. Its horn shaped and failry heavy and very dark coloured and about 14cm long. It's not hollow like I think a horn would be and its got a bone marrow looking filling? I am not sure if it could be fossilised or not. I am no expert at all though just love beachcombing and excited by what I have found so that why I am posting it here to see if anyone can help me? Rare or not its still special to me
You have answered your question very well and have come to the correct conclusion. The internal structure shown in photo 147 indicates that this is bone and the ratio of the cortical (outer) bone to the trabecular (inner) bone is in keeping with an antler. You are right that a horn is hollow, it is made of keratin the same as finger nails and hair. However, a horn is supported by a bony core which is part of the skull, the cortical bone of a horn core is not as dense as in an antler and is thicker. The inner bone is also not as dense as an antler and the surface of a horn core has a particular pattern which is not on an antler. So this is part of an antler. Unlike cattle which only grow one set of horns in a lifetime deer shed their antlers every year and grow an new bigger set so it is not unusual to find them.
Thanks loads for your answer really pleased to know what it is and solve this mystery. This is the first time I have posted in the forum and great to get such a lovely comphrensive reply thanks you for that. Guess I wont be having to make a specail trip to London to bring it to the musuem then