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The Brain of the Giraffe (Giraffa Camelopardalis): Surface Configuration, Encephalization Quotient, and Analysis of the Existing Literature

The anatomy of the giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis Linnaeus, 1758) has been poorly studied, except for the circulatory system. In particular, only a handful of studies have concerned the brain of this species since the first description in 1839. Accordingly, only a very few articles discussing encephalization mentioned the giraffe or used it in their calculations. In this article, we performed a thorough examination of the literature including old and grey, regarding the central nervous system of the giraffe. Furthermore, we

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Protection against high intravascular pressure in giraffe legs

The high blood pressure in giraffe leg arteries renders giraffes vulnerable to edema. We investigated in 11 giraffes whether large and small arteries in the legs and the tight fascia protect leg capillaries. Ultrasound imaging of foreleg arteries in anesthetized giraffes and ex vivo examination revealed abrupt thickening of the arterial wall and a reduction of its internal diameter just below the elbow. At and distal to this narrowing, the artery constricted spontaneously and in response to norepinephrine and intravascular

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Giraffe bed and breakfast: Camera traps reveal Tanzanian yellow-billed oxpeckers roosting on their large mammalian hosts

Oxpeckers are obligate mammal gleaners, feeding on ectoparasites and dead skin of large herbivores (Bezuidenhout & Stutterheim, 1980; Dean & MacDonald, 1981). There are two sympatric species in sub-Saharan Africa: the red-billed (Buphagus erythrorhynus) and yellow-billed oxpeckers (Buphagus africana). The red-billed species is smaller, with a scissor-like bill, while the yellow-billed species is larger, behaviourally dominant, and has a broad, flat beak (Attwell, 1966; Neweklowsky, 1974; Stutterheim, Bezuidenhout, & Elliott, 1988). These behavioural and morphological attributes are hypothesized to contribute

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Quantitative Macroscopic Anatomy of the Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) Digestive Tract

Quantitative data on digestive anatomy of the world’s largest ruminant, the giraffe, are scarce. Data were collected from a total of 25 wild-caught and 13 zoo-housed giraffes. Anatomical measures were quantified by dimension, area or weight and analysed by allometric regression. The majority of measures scaled positively and isometrically to body mass. Giraffes had lower tissue weight of all stomach compartments and longer large intestinal length than cattle. When compared to other ruminants, the giraffe digestive tract showed many of

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Evaluation of somatotype in the reticulated giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) using three-dimensional laser measurement

The giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) is a difficult animal to keep in captivity as it has high mortality due to nutrition-related disorders, perhaps because the giraffe’s condition is difficult to evaluate. Image analysis techniques have recently become popular and may be useful for evaluating the giraffe’s somatotype. The present study aimed to evaluate the giraffe somatotype using a three-dimensional laser measurement device, and to examine the usefulness of this method. First, ten zoo staff members visually evaluated the somatotypes of three

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Zoo Foraging Ecology: Preference and Welfare Assessment of Two Okapi (Okapia johnstoni) at the Brookfield Zoo

Applying principles of foraging ecology to zoo-housed animals can positively influence animal behavior, and assist with evaluating exhibit space and design. In this study, we implemented zoo foraging ecology by measuring giving-up densities (GUDs) in food patches to address several welfare-related questions with captive okapi (Okapia johnstoni). Our objectives were to: (1) determine whether food patches can reveal how the individual animals perceive their exhibit space (i.e., areas of preference and aversion; landscapes of comfort); and (2) determine whether implementation

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Exotic hoof stock Anesthesia and Analgesia: Best Practices

Veterinary care of non-domestic hoof stock has become more common practice through the integration of veterinary medicine in state and federal natural resource management programs, zoological collections, exotic animal ranching expansion, and hobby collections of exotics. Likewise, veterinarians are expected to have the knowledge and capability to safely anesthetize and handle these animals. Anesthesia of exotic hoof stock requires the knowledge of not only the pharmacology of the drugs used but also the variation in dose response among families, genera, species,

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Hematology and Serum Chemistry Profiles for Giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis): Variations with Sex, Age, and Restraint

Hematology and serum chemistry profiles for giraffes are presented. Values for 39 blood samples, collected from 14 giraffes, were analyzed and evaluated for variations relating to differences in sex, age, and restraint mode. Sex-specific variations were found in WBC and neutrophil numbers, total protein, and alkaline phosphatase concentrations. Age-specific variations were found in hematocrit, hemoglobin, erythrocytes, banded neutrophil and basophil numbers, and in calcium, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), total bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, and creatinine concentrations. Variations relating to differences in

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