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Showing posts from December, 2018

Giraffes

GIRAFFE (Giraffa camelopardis)


Giraffes are freaky looking super-goats endemic to sub-Saharan Africa and found in zoos all over the world (IUCN). Despite looking like long-neck dinosaurs, they are in fact mammals - you can tell because they have fuzzy skin, and udders.

Appearance

Giraffes look really cool from a distance but up close they are all kinds of weird. They have creepy long tongues like Gene Simmons, and stubby little antlers called ossicones. Why do they bother having ossicones? It's not like they can butt heads with them, and they're too small and dorky to fend off predators. The answer to that question is probably heat release, since they're chock full of blood vessels (Mitchell & Skinner 2004), but that makes them even less likely to be weaponized.

On the other hand, they have cool spotted coats and, unlike the patterning on leopards and zebras, their spots are not totally played out. It is also fun to say "ossicones", so I'm going to give th…