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 bones relative to other similarly aged giraffe. Both giraffe survived to at least subadult life stage. This report documents rare occurrences of these apparent skeletal dysplasias in free-ranging wild animals and the first records in giraffe.

Last Updated
February 18, 2021
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