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There are nine subspecies of giraffe based on
distinctive color and pattern.
* Reticulated or Somali Giraffe (G.c. reticulata) - large, polygonal
liver-colored spots outlined by a network of bright white lines.
Inhabits northeastern Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia.
* Angolan or Smoky Giraffe (G.c. angolensis) - large spots and some
notches around the edges, extending down the entire lower leg.
Inhabits Angola, Zambia.
* Kordofan Giraffe (G.c. antiquorum) - smaller, more irregular spots
that cover the inner legs. Inhabits western and southwestern Sudan.
* Masai or Kilimanjaro Giraffe (G.c. tippelskirchi) - jagged-edged,
vine-leaf shaped spots of dark chocolate on a yellowish background.
Inhabits central and southern Kenya, Tanzania.
* Nubian Giraffe (G.c. camelopardalis) - large, four-sided spots of
chestnut brown on an off-white background and no spots on inner
sides of the legs or below the hocks. Inhabits eastern Sudan,
* Rothschild Giraffe or Baringo Giraffe or Ugandan Giraffe (G.c.
rothschildi) - deep brown, blotched or rectangular spots with poorly
defined cream lines. Hocks may be spotted. Inhabits Uganda,
* South African Giraffe (G.c. giraffa) - rounded or blotched spots,
some with star-like extensions on a light tan background, running
down to the hooves. Inhabits South Africa, Namibia, Botswana,
* Thornicroft or Rhodesian Giraffe (G.c. thornicrofti) - star-shaped
or leafy spots extend to the lower leg. Inhabits eastern Zambia.
* West African or Nigerian Giraffe (G.c. peralta) - numerous pale,
yellowish red spots. Inhabits Niger, Cameroon.
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