Monday, April 15, 2013

Giraffe Comparison

After trying to make sense to which species or sub-species certain zebra belong [SEE: some of my recent blog entries] what about the giraffe, also a typical African-savanna-animal?

Like zebra, with their different-patterned stripes unique to each animal, giraffe also have unique coat patterns AND different colouring - as these 3 giraffe males, photographed in a private game reserve in Swaziland, "reveal".

On the other hand, these 3 giraffe males, photographed in the Pilansberg Game Reserve (North-West Province), are coloured similarly. The species (Latin) name for a giraffe is: (Giraffa) camelopardalis - referring to camel-like traits, but also to the patches of colour, which are leopard-like!!

As the 3 more "typical-looking" giraffe (above), this giraffe also "hails" from the Pilansberg Game Reserve - although colour- & patch-wise, it seems to belong to another of the apparently 9 sub-species of giraffe found across Africa.

Similar in appearance as the previous giraffe, this male - photographed at a private game reserve in Namibia - also appears different patch- and colour-wise than giraffes in general . . .

. . . as is also the case with this giraffe - also photograped in Namibia, with the Etosha Pan (filled with water) in the background. In particular,  check the size of this giraffe's head - rather smaller than more customarily, right?

This giraffe was photographed at virtually the same spot as the one above - proving, I think, that more than 1 of the 9 subspecies of giraffe can be found in the Etosha Game Reserve.

After the 3 different-looking giraffe above, all nonetheless "hailing from" Namibia, I photographed this giraffe quite recently in a private game reserve here in the Eastern Cape - but more in support of the general opinion that male giraffe become darker as they age!?

This unusually dark male giraffe, photograped in the Kruger National Park, looks as if its in the prime of its life (instead of being old) & therefore seems to reinforce what I personally believe: that colouring varies geographically (instead of with age) . . .

. . . as this female giraffe, also from the Kruger National Park, appears to prove: that the colouring could also be a matter of genetics!?

How do I know this is a female? Just look at the horns! The ones on a male's head are thicker, V-like & bald - in contrast to a female's, which are thinner & have tuffts of hair on the horns.

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