These photos were taken several years ago at Brevard Zoo, not far from where Dwayne's parents live in Florida.

Giraffes are the tallest living land animals. Females usually have tufts of hair sticking off their horns, making them look a little funny. Males' horns are usually larger and bare, since they use their heads in battle and the hair rubs off the horns with the force and friction of the blows they deliver. Females live in groups while full-grown males usually live alone, challenging other males for mating rights to the group of females.

The males in the bottom picture were fighting or "necking" the day I visited the zoo, so I snapped a picture of them. They'd lean their body weight into each other and throw their heads all the way back and to the side, taking turns smacking each other upside the body. It was painful to watch since their heads made a unbelievably loud "Pop!" when they hit. I was surprised at how flexible and tough their necks proved to be. This match went on longer than I could stand and watch, but overall, I think the fight I witnessed was pretty tame, since I looked online and found footage of a much more aggressive standoff that included kicks.


gina said…
I just saw this neck fighting thing on TV last week- it's incredible.

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