Age-related changes in the testicular and antler cycles of reindeer, Rangifer tarandus

A total of 111 male reindeer of various ages was shot in all months of the year to study the relationship between the seasonal changes in testicular activity and the antler cycle. From the changes in testis weight, seminiferous tubular tissue area and plasma testosterone values and the occurrence of spermatogenesis, it is concluded that calves attain physiological puberty in their first year, during which they also complete an antler cycle. The amplitude of the cyclical change in testis weight and plasma testosterone values increases with age and can be correlated with the earlier onset of events in the spermatogenic and antler cycles of older animals. The duration of the spermatogenic and testosterone cycles of reindeer is short, and is inversely related to the long period spent without antlers. It is suggested that testosterone strongly influences the antler cycle of reindeer males.


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Authors: Leader-Williams, N.

1 January, 1979
Journal of Reproduction and Fertility / 57
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