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Maternal Investment in Captive Giraffes

Sex-biased maternal investment involves differential allocation of resources to production and rearing of sons or daughters as a function of their anticipated reproductive output. We examined reproductive investment among captive giraffe, (Giraffa camelopardalis) over a 21-year period to determine extent to which female invest differentially in offspring by sex. We found an unbiased sex ratio at birth and comparable interbirth intervals following rearing of either sons or daughters. Early neonatal mortality compressed interbirth interval and females probably conceived while lactating.

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Fecal steroid analysis of female giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) reproductive condition and the impact of endocrine status on daily time budgets

Gestation and lactation can impose substantial energetic costs on female mammals. We developed a non-invasive means to determine reproductive condition in female giraffe using fecal steroid analysis. Giraffe may be especially challenged during their reproductive cycle because of two characteristics: they are impregnated while lactating and they do not breed seasonally. We studied the social behavior and endocrinology of seven female giraffe in a large naturalistic outdoor enclosure in order to chart connections between maternal physiology and behavior across the

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Giraffe birth locations in the South Luangwa National Park, Zambia: site fidelity or microhabitat selection?

Birth site location can have enormous implications for female reproductive success. Some ungulate species demonstrate consistent birth site fidelity, while others shift birth locations during their lifetimes as a function of ecological and social factors. We plotted 39 years of birth records from a wild population of Thornicroft’s giraffe, Giraffa camelopardalis thornicrofti, to test the hypothesis that giraffe use consistent locations for birth. Data from 29 calves born to nine females revealed that birth seasonality was absent and that ecological

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