Sometimes sticking your neck out comes at a deadly cost

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Sometimes sticking your neck out comes at a deadly cost

The adaptive advantage of long necks was a death knell for two giraffes believed to have been killed by lightning

Cape Town bureau chief

Two giraffes that died during an intense storm in the Northern Cape are believed to have been killed by lightning.

A fracture at the junction of one of the animal’s horns and its skull suggested she was killed by a direct strike, according to a wildlife management expert who reported the deaths in the African Journal of Ecology.

The other giraffe, a female whose body was found seven metres away, had no signs of injury and is believed to have been killed by lightning that hit the ground near her, so-called step potential, or by “side flash” from a nearby object struck by lightning...

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