The velvet is a type of skin that contains blood vessels, so it is able to bring the minerals and vitamins the antlers need to grow back each year. Since antlers are the only totally regenerative organ on any mammal, they need a constant supply of nutrients to grow into hard, calcified structures at the rate of two centimeters a day. Rising testosterone levels signal the velvet to die and fall off, making the antlers ready for male competition during mating season.
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