Giraffe, Giraffa camelopardalis
November 2003
*

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* February 2016 updates:
   taxonomy, circulatory system,
   population

 

 



TAXONOMY & NOMENCLATURE

(Brown et al. 2007; Colbert & Morales 1990; Gotch 1995; Kingdon 1979, 1997; Lacky & LaRue 1997; MacClintock 1973)

Described by: Linnaeus, 1758

Kingdom: Animalia
    Phylum: Chordata
        Class: Mammalia
             Order: Artiodactyla* (Even-toed hoofed animals: includes pigs, sheep goats, cattle, deer)
                Suborder: Ruminantia
                    Family: Giraffidae
                          Genus: Okapi (Okapi)
                          Genus: Giraffa
                                  Species: Giraffa camelopardalis
                                        Subspecies: G. c. angolensis (Angolan Giraffe)
                                                                 G. c. antiquiorum (Kordofan Giraffe)
                                                                 G. c. camelopardalis (Nubian Giraffe)
                                                                 G. c. giraffa (Southern/South African Giraffe)
                                                                 G. c. peralta (Nigerian/West African Giraffe)
                                                                 G. c. reticulata (Reticulated Giraffe)
                                                                 G. c. rothschildi (Baringo/Rothschild's/Uganda Giraffe)
                                                                 G. c. thornicrofti (Thornicroft's Giraffe)
                                                                 G. c. tippelskirchi (Masai Giraffe)

*NB: New anatomical and DNA evidence on the relationship between Artiodactyla (even-toed ungulates) and Cetacea (whales and dolphins) recently led to a merging of the two orders into a new group, Cetartiodactyla (Montgelard, 1997; reviewed in Kulemzina, 2009). As of October 2012, experts had not agreed on whether to define Cetartiodactyla as an official taxonomic order that would replace Artiodactyla and Cetacea. Some continue to list giraffes in the order Artiodactyla (Franklin, 2011) or use the term Cetartiodactyla without defining it as an order (IUCN 2008).

Taxonomy

Nomenclature

Phylogeny



DISTRIBUTION & HABITAT

(Dagg 1971; East 1998; Estes 1991; Lacky & LaRue 1997)

Giraffe distribution

Adapted from www.d-maps.com according to IUCN fact sheet. For detailed distribution (IUCN), click here or on map.

For subspecies distribution, see East (1999), p. 94.


Distribution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Habitat



PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

(Estes 1991; Kingdon 1997; MacClintock 1973; Mitchell & Skinner 2009; Patterson et al. 1965)

Measurements

General Description

Horns


Giraffe Horns

Pelage


Baringo giraffe hide Reticulated giraffe hide

Sexual Dimorphism

Other Physical and Physiological Characteristics



BEHAVIOR & ECOLOGY

(Apfelbach, 1990; Coe, 1967; Estes, 1991; Leggett et al., 2001; Guggisberg 1969; Innis, 1958; Le Pendu et al., 2000; Leuthold & Leuthold, 1978)

Activity Cycle

Social Groups

      General

Hierarchy

Territory

Home range

Aggression

Play

Communication

Locomotion

Interspecies Interaction



DIET & FEEDING

(Apfelbach, 1990; Estes, 1991; Innis, 1958; Kingdon, 1997; Pellew, 1984; MacClintock, 1973; Spinage, 1968)

Diet

Foraging

  • Digestion
  • Water


  • REPRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT

    (Estes, 1991; Foster & Dagg, 1972; Innis, 1958; Lackey & LaRue, 1997; Leuthold, 1979; Leuthold & Leuthold, 1978; MacClintock, 1973; Nowak, 1999; Spinage, 1968)

    Courtship

    Reproduction

    Gestation

    Life Stages

    Longevity

    Mortality



    MANAGED CARE

    (Lackey & LaRue 1997; Bercovitch et al., 2003; Ritter 1998)

    History of captivity

    San Diego Zoological Society



    POPULATION AND CONSERVATION STATUS

    (East 1999; IUCN 2010; Lacky & LaRue 1997; WPZ 2000)

    NB: more recent data are being evaluated by IUCN/SSC members; check www.iucnredlist.org for the latest updates.

    Population Status
    Conservation Threats to survival

    Important Web Resources


    ©2003 San Diego Zoo Global. *February 2016 updates: taxonomy, circulatory system; population. Disclaimer: Although San Diego Zoo Global makes every attempt to provide accurate information, some of the facts may become outdated or replaced by new research findings. Questions and comments may be addressed to library@sandiegozoo.org.


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