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Male giraffes necking

Male giraffes necking

C038/7154

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Credit

TONY CAMACHO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY TONY CAMACHO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Male giraffes in the behavioural act of 'necking'. Sometimes this 'necking' is low intensity play fighting where opponents rub and lean against each other and the male that can hold itself more erect wins the bout. Other times it is high intensity fighting where opponents spread their front legs and swing their necks at each other attempting to land painful blows with their short stubby horns or 'ossicones'. Either way it is about establishing dominance. Research has shown that males that win necking bouts have greater reproductive success. Photographed in the Auob riverbed of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in Southern Africa.

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