Chordates •

Northern giraffe

(Giraffa camelopardalis)



The Northern giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis), also known as three-horned giraffe, is the type species of giraffe, G. camelopardalis, and is native to North Africa, although alternative taxonomic hypotheses have proposed the northern giraffe as a separate species. Once abundant throughout Africa since the 19th century, Northern giraffes ranged from Senegal, Mali and Nigeria from West Africa to up north in Egypt. The similar West African giraffes lived in Algeria and Morocco in ancient periods until their extinctions due to the Saharan dry climate. Often mistaken with the Southern Giraffes, Northern giraffe's are differentiated by their distinctive two horn-like protuberances known as ossicones on their foreheads, which are longer and larger than those of southern giraffes'. Bull Northern giraffes have a third cylindrical ossicone in the center of the head just above the eyes, which is from 3 to 5 inches long Northern giraffes live in savannahs, shrublands, and woodlands. After numerous local extinctions, Northern giraffes are the least numerous giraffe species, and the most endangered. In East Africa, they are mostly found in Kenya and southwestern Ethiopia, though rarely in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan. There are about 2,000 in the Central African Republic, Chad and Cameroon of Central Africa. Once widespread in West Africa, a few hundred Northern giraffes are confined in the Dosso Reserve of Kouré, Niger. It is isolated in South Sudan, Kenya, Chad and Niger. They commonly live both in and outside of protected areas. The earliest ranges of the Northern giraffes were in Chad during the late Pliocene. Once abundant in North Africa, they lived in Algeria since early Pleistocene during the Quaternary period. They lived in Morocco, Libya and Egypt until their extinction around the year AD 600, as the dry climate of the Sahara made conditions impossible for giraffes. Though their remenant's; bones and fossils, have been found across these countries.

Taxonomic tree:

Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Mammalia
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