Spotless giraffe is born, a surprise in the animal kingdom

Despite the commotion that the extraordinary birth of a spotless giraffe is causing on social networks, there is evidence of similar cases that occurred more than 50 years ago.

When it comes to spotless giraffes, it is not common, but it is possible. In some rare cases, giraffes appear without the characteristic spot pattern. This can occur due to a genetic mutation or natural variations in skin pigmentation. Although these giraffes may look different, they are still part of the same species and share many other characteristics with their spotted congeners.

Nature continues to amaze many with surprising changes that challenge our beliefs. As the years go by, some species are demonstrating patterns or shapes that were previously considered unimaginable. A notable example of animals with unusual characteristics is Snowflake, an albino gorilla who became famous. Another peculiar case is the Narwhal dog, who was born with a small tail on his forehead. We can also mention the pink manta ray, a unique species that lives in the Australian Great Barrier Reef. Additionally, there is a zebra in the Maasai Mara that features polka dots instead of the traditional stripes. Now a spotless giraffe is added to this list, which is truly surprising and unique.

Looking for a name for the new giraffe

Brights Zoo, home to more than 700 animals from 126 different species, including nine giraffes, generated so much enthusiasm that it decided to involve the public in choosing a name for its new calf. Through a vote on their Facebook page, four options were offered and more than 17 thousand votes were received on the first day alone. On the list of candidates are four names in Swahili: Kipekee (meaning "unique"), Firyali (meaning "extraordinary or unusual"), Shakiri (meaning "most beautiful") and Jamelia (meaning "of great beauty"). "). These names are meaningful and beautiful options to consider.

Spotless giraffe, a peculiarity of the animal kingdom

Recently, at the Brights Zoo in Limestone, Tennessee, a unique giraffe was born: a spotless reticulated giraffe. According to the zoo's giraffe experts, this is the only solid-colored giraffe of its species known in the world. This news was confirmed through an official statement from the zoo.

The complex pattern of spots on the fur of giraffes serves several vital functions for this species. These markings allow them to evade predators by camouflaging themselves with their surroundings, in addition to regulating their body temperature and protecting their sensitive skin from sunburn. They also allow you to recognize family members and distinguish individuals from each other. When we encounter a giraffe that lacks these qualities, we naturally wonder what could have caused this mutation.

Zoo specialists have determined that this animal's unusual color could be the product of a genetic mutation. Fortunately, no evidence of additional medical problems or genetic disadvantages has been found affecting the giraffe in question.

50 years have passed since the first spotless giraffe

The newly hatched giraffe, visibly different from the rest of its species by being all one color The reticulated giraffe at the zoo is a solid reddish brown and does not have the characteristic spot pattern of this species. In addition, she measures more than 1 meter and 80 centimeters and is perfectly integrated into her pack despite her obvious aesthetic differences, cared for by her mother and the facility's caretakers.

Although many zoo visitors believe it is the only species of its kind, in reality, about 25 to 50 years ago, more precisely in 1972, the last known spotless giraffe was born at the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo.

According to information from National Geographic, in 2017 an adult white giraffe and its calf, also with this unique characteristic, were sighted in the eastern part of the African country. This sighting was notable and sparked great interest among wildlife experts and enthusiasts.At the time, these animals suffered from a genetic disease called leucism, which prevents skin cells from producing pigments, but is different from albinism.

Until now, no definitive explanation has been found for the Tennessee spotless giraffe. However, experts suspect that it could be the result of some particular genetic mutation or combination of genetic mutations.

About the stains

As is known, there are 4 types of giraffe species: the southern giraffe (Giraffa giraffa), which includes two subspecies, one from Angola (Giraffa giraffa angolensis) and the other from South Africa (Giraffa giraffa giraffa); the masai giraffe (Giraffa tippelskirchi); the reticulated giraffe (Giraffa reticulata); and the northern giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis), which includes three subspecies, the Nubian giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis camelopardalis), the Nigerian giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis peralta) and the Kordofan giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis antiquorum).

The species have one characteristic in common, which is the distinctive polygonal spots on their fur. These brands are not only aesthetically striking, but they also fulfill specific functions that go beyond what can be seen with the naked eye.

  • Camouflage: The giraffe species in question is found in its natural habitat in the bush savannah of northern Kenya, Somalia and southern Ethiopia. Its fur has colors and shapes that allow it to camouflage itself and protect itself from possible predators.
  • Thermal regulation: The Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) explains that each of the spots on the giraffe pattern contains a system of blood vessels that help regulate its body temperature, thus allowing it to eliminate heat.
  • Unique patterns that are inherited: Although the spots of a species are very similar to each other, there are small variations in their shape, quantity, and color fastness. According to evolutionary biology studies, it has been determined that these particular characteristics are genetically transmitted from mothers to children.

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