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Relationships between male giraffes’ colour, age and sociability

In species in which males signal competitive ability through secondary sexual traits, males with different levels of trait expression may adopt different reproductive tactics to maximize their reproductive success. In fission-fusion social systems, the most dominant males often roam widely in search of females in oestrus, and thus exhibit different patterns of sociability from subordinate males that utilize alternative reproductive tactics. Giraffes, Giraffa camelopardalis, are rare among mammals in that they are sexually dimorphic in colour, and colour is hypothesized

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Growth patterns and masses of the heads and necks of male and female giraffes

We have analyzed the growth patterns of the head and neck of 65 male and 71 female giraffes from two different populations of giraffes, and also the dimensions of 19 different components of the head and neck in 8 female and 13 male giraffes, to establish if they showed sexual dimorphism and if sexual selection for a weapon was a possible origin of the long neck of giraffes. We found that in both genders, the rate of increase in head

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Sex differences in giraffe foraging behavior at two spatial scales

We test predictions about differences in the foraging behaviors of male and female giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi Matchie) that derive from a hypothesis linking sexual size dimorphism to foraging behavior. This body-size hypothesis predicts that males will exhibit specific behaviors that increase their dry-matter intake rate relative to females. Foraging behavior was examined at two hierarchical levels corresponding to two spatial and temporal scales, within patches and within habitats.  Patches are defined as individual trees or shrubs and habitats are

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