Kenyan Giraffes: What’s the difference between a Masai, a Reticulated and a Rothschild’s Giraffe?

What is the difference between Kenyan giraffes – a Masai, a Reticulated, and a Rothschild’s Giraffe?

A Masai Giraffe has irregular patterns.

A Reticulated Giraffe has regular patterns with a bright chestnut colour and white spaces.

A Rothschild’s Giraffe has brown patterns with cream spaces.

 

Photographer: Martina Nicolls

Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

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Reticulated Giraffe

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.

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