11 April 2012
Giraffes' coats provide age clue
By Ella Davies
Reporter, BBC Nature
Experts recorded a significant colour difference between younger and older males
Male giraffes' age can be estimated by looking at the colour of their coats, according to research.
A 33-year study of male Thornicroft's giraffes in Zambia, Africa, has confirmed that the familiar pattern of brown blotches grows darker with age.
By comparing recorded colour changes, experts were able to generate a life-history profile for the animals.
They suggest the darkening patches could be associated with changes in testosterone at puberty. (...)