Why was the Okapi called the African Unicorn?
The Okapi (Okapia johnstoni) is an African ungulate (hoofed) mammal in the Giraffidae family, related to the giraffe. It has chocolate to reddish-brown fur. Its legs have white horizontal stripes with white ankles. Its face, throat, and chest are greyish white. It has a long neck and large flexible ears.
The male has two short ossicones (bony structures) on its forehead, covered in hair. They are not horns.
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The Okapi (Okapia johnstoni) is also called the Forest Giraffe, the Congolese Giraffe or the Zebra Giraffe. It is related to the giraffe; it is a giraffid. It is a ruminant ungulate mammal – a plant eating hoofed animal. It is an artiodactyl.
The Okapi has chocolate to reddish brown fur. Its legs have white horizontal stripes with white ankles. Its face, throat, and chest are greyish white. It has a long neck and large flexible ears. Males have short ossicones (like giraffes) that are bony structures covered in hair – they are not horns. It has a long tongue.
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The Masai Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) is an ungulate mammal in the Giraffidae family of giraffes. An ungulate is a hoofed mammal. It is related to the Okapi.
The Masai Giraffe has a long neck with seven vertebrae (bones) and a short mane (neck hair). It has distinctive, irregular, jagged, brown star-like or leaf-like shapes on its cream-coloured fur. The shapes occur all the way to its hooves. It has long, thin, but powerful legs. It has a long tongue and big eyes, which are the size of golf balls. Its tail has a tuft of hair at the end.
As it ages, the male often develops two calcium deposits, called ossicones, in its skull. An ossicone looks like mini horns. It is not a horn. It is a bony ossicone that is covered in fur.
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