Nature, y’all. It is a beautiful and diverse world out there. In some parts of the world, Rams battle for dominance and breeding rights.
A video showing two rams butting heads shows the yearly display of machismo from these animals. Everyone knows about rams and goats butting heads. In this video from Tony Bynum photography, we see two animals smash their heads into one another.
In the crash, you can hear quite a sound. One of the rams appears to be shaken up by the incident. However, it is hard to tell exactly who the winner of this was.
Every year during rut season these beautiful animals can be seen competing with one another like this. It is like a formal standoff between the two hopeful alpha males. While their evolutionary path has led them to this moment, there is still a chance of injury.
When it comes to establishing dominance and most importantly staying alive, it is important for these animals to brush off pain and discomfort. As the male on the right of the screen gets his distance, the two turn and run at each other on their hind legs.
The rams are able to get a better angle on the hit and come down with more force. While my Nigerian Dwarf goats are much smaller than these beasts, they often do similar things while playing or fighting over some hay.
However, these rams have a lot more at stake than my domesticated dairy goats.
Nature Is a Cruel Mistress
Of course, these rams are made to butt their heads hard. That doesn’t mean they don’t feel the pain either. The horns on these animals are made of keratin. That’s the same stuff our hair and nails are made out of. Of course, they are much harder than our hair and nails.
So, the fact these aren’t made out of bone allows the animals to hit hard and avoid too much damage to the brain. The horns are also hollow. However, that doesn’t mean it would be okay if they broke those horns. A lot of blood flows through them and it could mean death if a horn cracks or breaks.
The blood that runs through their horns and the head itself helps ease the collision as well. In what is called the Bubble Wrap-effect, blood rushes to the head after butting to keep the brain from moving around and becoming bruised.
Rams Battle for Mating Rights
The bottom line of this is the rams are battling for mating rights. Out in the wild, only a few males get the right to pass on their bloodline. These little battles help settle those disputes.
While it looks like a rough way to make decisions, for these animals, there is no other way to do things. A hard hit or two and they know which one of them is the winner and which one will have to find another herd to sire.