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Friday, April 13, 2012

Giraffes' coats provide age clue

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. (...)

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