- Every Tuesday, Mongabay brings you a new episode of Candid Animal Cam, our show featuring animals caught on camera traps around the world and hosted by Romi Castagnino, our writer and conservation scientist.
Camera traps bring you closer to the secretive natural world and are an important conservation tool to study wildlife. This week we’re meeting the largest ruminant in the world: the giraffe.
Giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) are the tallest land animal in the world at an average height of 5 m (16 ft). Did you know that people in the past thought giraffes were a cross between a leopard and a camel? That’s where the scientific name for the giraffe, “Camelopardalis” comes from. Giraffes are found in African savannas, shrublands and forests. As they spend most of the day eating, they sleep for only two hours a day! Giraffes are very social animals and roam around in a group of around 15 members led by an adult male. These groups are called towers. Male giraffes fight for dominance and for the right to mate with females. They use their muscular necks to strike at an opponent’s body and wrestle by winding their necks around each other. This is known as “necking”. Watch the video to learn more about this species!
Special thanks to Dr. Meredith Palmer and Akiba/Jacinta of FreakLabs for sharing their camera trap footage with us. Dr. Palmer is a researcher at Princeton University and uses camera traps to study how prey animals (like wildebeest, zebra, and impala) respond to complex carnivore guilds and the reintroduction of locally-extinct predators (like lions, cheetah, hyena, leopards, and African wild dogs). The camera traps are triggered to play predator sounds when triggered, and then video record animal responses. They were deployed in the Serengeti ecosystem in 2019.
Banner image: Dr. Meredith S. Palmer/Snapshot Serengeti
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