Giraffe Species

Giraffe Species

Giraffe Species Overview

Many people fail to realize that giraffes aren’t all the same species. Since they all come from Africa and they all look the same they tend to lump them into one category. It is a common enough mistake but now you will have the right information to make your assessments upon. Yet the information isn’t quite clear in the categories of science either. What we mean is that some will think of them as separate species but for now they are categorized as subspecies.

The differences that are noted include where they naturally reside, the coloring, and even the types of patterns that they have on their bodies. The Somali Giraffe has very large spots and then wide white lines between them. They are found mainly in Somalia but also in areas of Kenya and Ethiopia.

Giraffe Species

  1. Masai Giraffe
  2. Rothschild Giraffe
  3. Somali Giraffe
  4. West African – Nigerian Giraffe

giraffe patterns

Along the southern of Chad you will find the Kordofan Giraffes. They have spots that are smaller than the rest of the subspecies. The Masai seem to have the most different type of spots as they often look like leaves growing on vines. They are found in the areas of Kenya and Tanzania.

The Nigerian Giraffes is a common type of giraffe that you will see in zoos. They are also commonly referred to as the West African giraffes. There are numerous other types of subspecies that have been further broken down but the problem is these names and boundaries aren’t accepted in the scientific community. Many continue to pursue efforts though to make that happen. It is believed that in the future we will see more emerging of scientific names and subspecies identification for the giraffe.

Many people assume that giraffes of these different species live with each other but that isn’t true. What often does occur though is that their home ranges overlap each other. They may be seen eating peacefully in a given area but they often aren’t going to interact with each other. You can view pictures of the different sub species of giraffes online too which will allow you to compare the differences in their spots that are mentioned here.

What is very interesting though is that strong adult males have no problem coming into a herd and mating with the females there even though they are a different subspecies. This has been confirmed by a variety of different genetic testing which only further fuels the debate from those that believe the sub species are too closely related to be further broken down into smaller groups.

Right now the future seems like one that is stable for all of the different species of giraffes that have been identified. In some areas they are low in numbers but overall they seem to be doing quite well. There are experts that worry about humans and their impact on the future for giraffes though.

All of the species of giraffes seem to be highly adaptable though in their environments. They can go without water when they have ample food due to the nutrients in what they eat. They also can mate any time of the year which is unlike so many other animals in the wild.

It also seems like other herbivores out there enjoy the company of giraffes. This is because they can hear very low frequencies so they pick up on danger sooner than other types of animals. They also have the ability to see at higher levels than others so it is wise for them to be in the company of these various giraffe sub species.

*Image: Different patterns and colors that can be found in giraffe fur.