The giraffe is the largest of the land animals. Females are usually 0.7 to 1 meter smaller than males.
The stains of the giraffe’s dress are his identity card. From birth, they are present in a reduced model. The shape will stay but the spots will grow as well as the spaces between them. The color of the dress darkens with age.
Both sexes have horns but are more developed and thicker in the male where they are generally parallel or with a slight outward angle.
The giraffe is the only mammal that is born with its horns, in the state of cartilage. They are already present in the embryo, then they ossify with age and are welded to the skull around 4 years in the male and 7 years in the female. They do not pose a problem during calving because they are dissociated from the skull and lie flat.
They recover a few days after birth.
The horns are covered with skin and the top is encircled by black hairs. In the male (right picture), these hairs become less visible with age, the top becoming peeled and polished over the course of the fighting.
Males sometimes have prominent bone prominences on the skull (ossicones), 1 or 2 on the forehead and 2 behind the horns. The presence of these ossicones is variable depending on the subspecies (or species) and individuals. Females may have some, but they are less marked among them. These are not strictly speaking horns.
The giraffe walks amble (she advances the front and rear legs on the same side at the same time). The second pace is galloping. Trot does not exist in the giraffe. The neck serves as a balance to balance the body when traveling. (Maximum speed of 50 to 60 Km per hour.)
The giraffe has 4 inguinal udders (2 pairs).
Subspecies and geographical variants:
Only one species was reported since the middle of the 20th century.
Until 2016 it was commonly accepted 1 species for 9 subspecies (from 6 to 9 according to the authors). For the most part, these subspecies were established on the basis of pelage variations, skull morphology, and geographical area. Genetic analyses have also clarified the situation between giraffes from West Africa