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Giraffe males have longer suckling bouts than females

In polygynous mammals, females are expected to bias maternal investment in favor of male calves. The mother should invest more in males to enhance their reproductive success in adulthood, or the males require greater investment as they are bigger and stronger than females. In this study, we used nursing duration to compare the difference in the amount of maternal investment provided by females. We compared differences according to sex of the offspring and the influence of calves’ identification by sniffing,

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Higher maternal care and tolerance in more experienced giraffe mothers

Maternal investment and maternal care provided by mammalian females can change during their ontogeny. Differences may be related to the age and/or experience (parity) of the female. Several hypotheses have been postulated to explain changes in the rate of maternal care of females during their lifetime. The residual reproductive value hypothesis supposes a higher rate of maternal care in older and more experienced females, in contrast the targeted reproductive effort hypothesis predicts lower levels of maternal care in older and/or

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Developing models for mother–infant behaviour in Black rhinoceros and Reticulated giraffe (Diceros bicornis michaeli and Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) at Brookfield Zoo, Illinois

For over a decade the behaviours of mothers and newborn calves of Black rhinoceros Diceros bicornis michaeli and Reticulated giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata have been observed at Brookfield Zoo during the critical first few weeks post-partum. Consistent patterns were seen for individuals within species, allowing models of time budgets, including ranges of variability surrounding each behaviour, to be developed. Once the model is created any data collected for neonates can be compared to the mean values in the model so

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