Masai Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) - Wiki
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[Photo] Male Masai Giraffe at the San Diego Zoo. Date 24 May 2006. Author Sheep81. License: public domain.
The Masai Giraffe, also known as the Kilimanjaro Giraffe is the biggest subspecies of giraffe. Masai giraffe have jagged spots on their bodies. Originally the masai giraffe lived throughout Africa but currently, due to loss of habitat and deforestation, the giraffe only lives in Kenya and Tanzania. As a land dwelling mammal, the giraffe is unable to survive long in the open sea, lakes, oceans etc. They can however, swim for short periods of time.
There is no seasonal breeding season for the giraffe. A masai can get pregnant at age 4. They also give birth standing up. About 50 to 75% of the calves die in their first few months due to predators. Even though many calves die, the mother will try to stab predators such as hyenas or lions with its sharp hooves. This action may injure or kill a predator quickly; the masai giraffe's kick is strong enough to crush a lion's skull or shatter its spine.
A masai has 7 vertabrae on its back. It has a short tassle of hair on its tail. A female has thick headhair, but a male is bald on top. They both have 2 to 5 horns on the heads, all of which are bone covered with a thin layer of skin. The dominant male's spots also tend to be darker in colour than the other members of the herds'.
Adult males usually reach around 6m in height - although they have been recorded at reaching heights of up to 6.5m or so - and females tend to be a bit shorter at around 5 to 5.5m tall. Their legs and necks are approximately 2m long each, and they have a heart roughly 12kg. (25lb.) in weight, making it roughly the size of a basketball.
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