The Masai giraffe, also called Kilimanjaro giraffe, is the largest and tallest of the nine giraffe subspecies. It is native to East Africa and is found in central and southern Kenya and in Tanzania. Its distinctive jagged patches extend down the limbs to the hooves. Males have darker patches than females and the color difference increases with age; the dominant males have the darkest pattern. Adult males can reach a height of 19.5 feet and females can reach between 16 and 18 feet, making it the tallest land animal on earth.
A giraffe is the only animal born with horns. Both male and female giraffes are born with two horn-like structures, called ossicones, made of hard cartilage atop their heads. At birth, the ossicones are covered in skin and a fine layer of hair. The male’s ossicones are typically rounded at the top and bald; the female’s ossicones are usually thinner and have a tuft of hair on the ends. Males develop an extra bump on the forehead.
Join Paula at Lost in Translation for Thursday’s Special: Pick a Word in March – Y4: Corniculate