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Coloured historical engraving of a giraffe

Coloured historical engraving of a giraffe

Z954/0001

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Credit

GEORGE BERNARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GEORGE BERNARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Giraffe. Coloured historical engraving of a giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis). This is the tallest living land animal, and some specimens can reach over 6 metres tall. Its great height allows it to reach the tops of trees, and eat the highest leaves. Giraffes live in herds of between 10-40 members, led by a dominant male. No two giraffes' patterns are the same. The head (shown in front view at upper left) has a small pair of horns, and famously thick eyelashes. Despite their size, they can run at 50 kilometres per hour, with an unusual rocking gait. They were extensively hunted in the past, and are now protected. Engraving by Lieutenant William Paterson in 1779.

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