Know Your Giraffe

May 5, 2015

Who loves animal prints?

Many of us associate a crazed, crackled pattern with brown pieces separated by jagged white lines as a “giraffe pattern” but did you know that there are distinct giraffe patterns and color schemes? There are 9 subspecies of giraffe and each can be identified by their own coat pattern and colors!

The most stereotypical graphic interpretation of a giraffe pattern features well defined bright orange-brown colored patches separated by bold white lines. One of the key features is the sharp edges, or overall crispness of the pattern. This pattern is distinctive of the Reticulated or Somali Giraffe. It has a coat pattern of well-defined patches that are normally a bright orange-brown color. Ironically, this most common animal print represents one of the rarest giraffe subspecies. It has been estimated that fewer than 5.000 of these creatures remain in the wild. This subspecies lives in northeastern Kenya, southern Ethiopia and Somalia. The pattern may be so familiar to us because the Reticulated Giraffe is the most commonly kept giraffe in zoos.

It is interesting how we have mimicked the natural world and then lost knowledge of that natural world. To most of us, the giraffe is just a pattern, but in actuality it is more magically complex than we might have thought!

If you would like to learn more about the giraffe patterns displayed here check out this website:

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