The Reticulated Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) is an endangered species of giraffe found only in protected grassland reserves in northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia. It is also called the Somali Giraffe.
The Reticulated Giraffe has clearly defined chestnut-coloured polygon shapes on its body separated by narrow white lines. The patched shapes can go all the way to the hooves, or just to the knees. It looks like the Rothschild’s Giraffe, but the Reticulated Giraffe only has two ossicones (like horns) on its head, whereas the Rothschild’s Giraffe has five ossicones, with one in the middle of its forehead. Ossicone means bone cone.
It likes savannas, woodlands, floodplains, and rainforests.
It can reach a height of up to 5.9 metres (19.3 feet). It is an ungulate mammal, which means that it is hoofed. It has a long neck of two metres (6.5 feet) with seven vertebrae (bones) and a short mane. It has long thin, but powerful, legs about two metres (6.5) long. They can kick other animals to death, and they can run up to 35 miles per hour.
They also have long tongues of about 45-51 centimetres (18-20 inches) and big eyes, the size of golf balls. Their tails have a tuft of hair at the end.
Like the Masai Giraffe, it only has two ossicones. The ossicones are covered in fur.
The Reticulated Giraffes are ruminant browsers, spending most of their day feeding. They eat the leaves of the thorny acacia trees, as well as twigs, fruits, and flowers.
They sleep for only short periods at a time.
Male Reticulated Giraffes fight for dominance by hitting their necks around each other. This is called necking.
Females are pregnant for about 14-15 months before giving birth to a baby, called a calf. The calf is about 1.8 metres (6 feet) tall at birth and can walk almost straight away.
They can live for 10-15 years in the wild.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM