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External features of giraffe

In the wild it is difficult to decide with certainty which giraffe calf belongs to which mother and impossible to determine the calf’s father. It is only in zoos that an offspring’s parents are known so that problems of heredity can be studied. Giraffe make a particularly interesting field of study in that individual variations are sometimes traits that have hitherto been thought to differentiate an entire race. In particular horn growth, spotting and colouration have been suggested as inherited

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Seeing spots: quantifying mother-offspring similarity and assessing fitness consequences of coat pattern traits in a wild population of giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis)

Polymorphic phenotypes of mammalian coat coloration have been important to the study of genetics and evolution, but less is known about the inheritance and fitness consequences of individual variation in complex coat pattern traits such as spots and stripes. Giraffe coat markings are highly complex and variable and it has been hypothesized that variation in coat patterns most likely affects fitness by camouflaging neonates against visually hunting predators. We quantified complex coat pattern traits of wild Masai giraffes using image

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White giraffes: The first record of vitiligo in a wild adult giraffe

Variation in the colour and patterning of animal coats has evolved to offer individuals adaptive advantage and is determined by both genetics and environmental factors. The biological functions of animal coat patterns include protection of the skin from exposure to sunlight, protection from predators by camouflage, individual recognition and sexual recognition within a species. Optimal coat patterns are especially important in the wild where immediate survival relies on an individual’s ability to avoid predators. Changes in coat colour within an

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