Staghorn ferns, properly termed Platyceriums, are a part of this fern complex. They are unusual in the sense that they grow semi-epiphytically, that is, with very little soil and attached to tree trunks or branches or some other substrate rather than growing in a soil substrate.
Since they don't flower and yet must still reproduce to survive, most, but not all, All ferns also reproduce by spores which are the brown patches that develop periodically on the underside of the fertile frond (leaf) tips. in Nature, some of these wind-blown spores grow into mature plants over a period of years.
The fronds that grow out from the base and look like antlers are called "Fertile Fronds" and they produce the spores. The fronds that cover the plaque at the base of the plant are called "Shield Fronds" and they cover the root structure. They hold together the soil substrate and also serve to catch nutrients. These Shield Fronds grow from the center out, Are green for a short period, and then turn brown. This is normal for them to be brown and not a defect in the plant.
Most staghorns are easy to grow. In general, they like bright patio light but not much, if any, direct sunlight. They don't like to be sopping wet or bone dry for extended periods of time. Water them thoroughly with a hose and then let them dry out.
Light: Moderate to bright. Water: Thorough, moist, with short dry out period. Temp.: Moderate, between 40 and 100 degrees.