Tall, dark and lonesome is the secret to necking a giraffe

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Tall, dark and lonesome is the secret to necking a giraffe

Darker males are less social than their lighter-coloured counterparts, but score mates easily in comparison

Cape Town bureau chief

The colour of a male giraffe’s spots appears to be the key to whether he is socially acceptable, according to 12 years of research in northern Namibia’s Etosha National Park.

Darker males are more solitary and less social than their lighter-coloured counterparts, said University of Queensland ecologist Madelaine Castles, who has just completed a PhD on the social organisation of giraffes.

It was previously thought the colour of male giraffes’ spots was related to their age, but Castles said some males never darkened and others even lost pigmentation...

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