The Life of a Bull Giraffe
An adult male giraffe, known as a bull, is the tallest animal on the planet, reaching a staggering 5.5 meters. Thanks to their great height, even widely dispersed giraffes can maintain visual contact with each other, and rival bull males react to one another from a long distance away.
Younger males tend to associate in bachelor herds, but as they mature they become increasingly solitary. Bull males spend much of their time walking in search of females (cows) in estrus. A bull checks the reproductive status of a female by tasting her urine for particular hormones. When an estrous cow is encountered, the bull stays close to the female and attempts to keep rivals away.
Bulls establish a dominance hierarchy based on seniority and the results of contests within bachelor herds. Click on the movie below to learn more about dueling between males, also known as “necking” or “sparring.”
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