The demography of giraffe deaths in a drought

  title={The demography of giraffe deaths in a drought},
  author={Graham Mitchell and Sybrand J. van Sittert and John D. Skinner},
  journal={Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa},
  pages={165 - 168}
ABSTRACT Darwin's theory for the evolution of the long neck of giraffes is that height confers access to browse free of competition from smaller browsers. The theory predicts that survivors of a drought will be the tallest animals in a population. All studies so far have tested this hypothesis by analysis of feeding patterns and behaviour. We have studied it by analysing the demography of deaths in a drought. Using skeletal material from 26 giraffes that died as a result of a drought in… 
2 Citations
Population ecology of maasai giraffe (giraffa camelopardalis Tippelskirchi) in relation to climate variability in southern kenya
............................................................................................................................................. xix CHAPTER ONE


Drought-related mortality of wildlife in the southern Kalahari and the role of man
In the southern Kalahari during the dry season of 1985 varying numbers of ostrich and four large indigenous ungulate species died because of drought conditions, which had prevailed for the previous six years.
Sex Differences in Giraffe Feeding Ecology: Energetic and Social Constraints
Sex ratios of giraffe groups differ in different habitats, with open vegetation having female-biased groups, and tall, thick vegetation having male-biased groups. On a ranch in south-central Kenya,
Ecology of desert-dwelling giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis angolensis in northwestern Namibia
The population size and range of giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis have been greatly reduced in Africa in the past century, resulting in geographical isolation of local populations and some herds
Sexual selection is not the origin of long necks in giraffes
It is concluded that morphological differences between males and females are minimal, that differences that do exist can be accounted for by the larger final mass of males and that sexual selection is not the origin of a long neck in giraffes.
The feeding ecology of a selective browser, the giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi)
Giraffe devote more time to foraging as the biomass and quality of the food declines in the dry season, and energy is conserved by minimizing energy-consuming activities at the most demanding times of day.
Feeding‐height stratification among African browsing ruminants
ummary This study investigated the hypothesis that the use of different feeding levels in the vegetation promotes resource partitioning among browsing ungulate species in African savannas. Focal
Food habits of giraffe in Tsavo National Park, Kenya
Summary In the context of a broader ecological investigation, food habits of giraffe were studied in Tsavo National Park (East). The only method employed was direct observation of feeding animals
The giraffe and its food resource in the Serengeti. II. Response of the giraffe population to changes in the food supply
The dynamics of the giraffe population of the Serengeti were quantified to ascertain the response of the population to the increasing biomass of the available browse resource, implying that the population may previously have been food-limited.
Winning by a Neck: Tall Giraffes Avoid Competing with Shorter Browsers
It is concluded that giraffes preferentially browse at high levels in the canopy to avoid competition with smaller browsers, providing the first experimental support for the classic evolutionary hypothesis that vertical elongation of the giraffe body is an outcome of competition within the browsing ungulate guild.
From fetus to adult--an allometric analysis of the giraffe vertebral column.
The giraffe T1 is a transitional vertebra whose scaling exponent and length is between that of the cervical and thoracic series, and the other dimensions taken show that giraffe vertebral morphology exhibit adaptations to biomechanical strain.