Giraffe Ossicones: Unique Mammal Headgear

Ossicones are columnar or conical skin-covered bone structures on the heads of giraffe and okapi (Fig 1). Giraffe ossicones consist of a bone core covered with skin and attached to the skull with connective tissue. The bone, skin, and connective tissue of ossicones are all living growing tissues with blood vessels and nerves. All male … Read more

Giraffe Girl Gangs are Important to Giraffe Populations

Female Masai giraffes live in distinct social communities of up to 90 other friends, and although areas used by these ‘girl gangs’ often overlap, they have very different rates of reproduction and calf survival. This means the girl gang social units may be important to giraffe evolution. These findings were published this week in the … Read more

Friends Matter: More Sociable Giraffes Live Longer

A group of adult female Masai giraffes.

Adult female giraffes who spend time in larger groups with other familiar females live longer than less sociable individuals. The effects of sociability on survival outweigh other factors such as environment or human presence, a study of giraffes in Tanzania conducted by the University of Zurich and Penn State has shown. An iconic but endangered … Read more

Spotted Owls Benefit from Wildfires, Forest Fire Suppression Should Focus on Homes

Spotted Owl in a severely burned forest.

As record-breaking wildfires continue burning across U.S. western states, a group of pro-logging scientists and activists reignited the debate about Spotted Owls and wildfires by publishing an article critical of a 2018 synthesis of all scientific evidence on the topic. Federal and state authorities are pushing plans to increase logging in National Forests, ostensibly to … Read more

Baby Giraffes Hide in Bushes from Natural Predators but Have a Mixed Relationship With People

giraffes

ARUSHA, Tanzania–Masai giraffes are the world’s tallest herbivores and beloved by people around the globe, but were recently classified as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). New research published in Oecologia showed how food, predators, and people all influence giraffe social behavior. In particular, the international team of researchers … Read more

New study reveals how human settlements and rainfall affect giraffe space use

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ARUSHA, Tanzania, 22 February 2019 – Giraffes are huge browsing animals that live in African savanna ecosystems where they must find everything they need to survive and reproduce in landscapes increasingly impacted by human activities. People are converting natural savannas to towns and farms, and cutting trees for fuelwood and charcoal industries, all of which … Read more

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