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The larger warts are a type of armour, which serves to protect the eyes and jaw from the fierce blows delivered during ritualized duels between rival males. Contests of strength are usually tusk-to-tusk and forehead-to-forehead pushing matches. The warts, which store fatty tissue, cushion the impact and reduce the chance of serious injury. Females have fewer and smaller warts, but rarely fight and don't need the same protection.

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