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Skeletal dysplasia-like syndromes in wild giraffe

Objective: Skeletal dysplasias, cartilaginous or skeletal disorders that sometimes result in abnormal bone development, are seldom reported in free-ranging wild animals. Here, we use photogrammetry and comparative morphometric analyses to describe cases of abnormal appendicular skeletal proportions of free-ranging giraffe in two geographically distinct taxa: a Nubian giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis camelopardalis) in Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda and an Angolan giraffe (Giraffa giraffa angolensis) on a private farm in central Namibia. Results: These giraffe exhibited extremely shortened radius and metacarpal

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Intensity of giraffe locomotor activity is shaped by solar and lunar zeitgebers

Natural cycles of light and darkness shift the balance of risks and gains for animals across space and time. Entrainment to photic cycles allows animals to spatiotemporally adapt their behavioural and physiological processes in line with interplaying ecological factors, such as temperature, foraging efficiency and predation risk. Until recently, our understanding of these chronobiological processes was limited by the difficulties of 24 h observations. Technological advances in GPS biotelemetry however are now allowing us unprecedented access to long-term, fine-scale activity

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Habitat heterogeneity and social factors drive behavioral plasticity in giraffe herd-size dynamics

Behavioral plasticity, or the mechanism by which an organism can adjust its behavior in response to exogenous change, has been highlighted as a potential buffer against extinction risk. Giraffes (Giraffa spp.) are gregarious, long-lived, highly mobile megaherbivores with a large brain size, characteristics that have been associated with high levels of behavioral plasticity. However, while there has been a recent focus on genotypic variability and morphological differences among giraffe populations, there has been relatively little discussion centered on behavioral flexibility

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