Are There Any Different Types of Giraffe?

There are at least nine different subspecies of giraffe, each living in a different part of African. These include the Nubian, Namibian, Kordofan, Masai, South African, West African and Rhodesian giraffe. There are also the reticulated giraffe and Rothschild's giraffe. Subspecies can be identified by the pattern and color of their hides, especially the size and arrangement of spots or splotches.

The Masai giraffe is one of the largest giraffes. It is also called the Kilimanjaro giraffe because it lives in Kenya, the location of Mt. Kilimanjaro. The splotches on its hide are more jagged and star-shaped than those of other giraffes. The male Masai giraffe can grow to about 19 feet tall, while the females are about 3 feet shorter.

The reticulated giraffe is also found in the north of Kenya and Somalia. It is the most common type of giraffe found in zoos. Its splotches are polygonal, deep reddish brown and edged in white. The reticulated giraffe is slightly shorter than the Masai, with the male reaching up to 18 feet tall and the female up to 17 feet.

The endangered Rothschild's giraffe may grow even taller than the Masai giraffe. A male can grow up to 20 feet high. Rothschild's giraffe are known for their attractive orange hides and the leopard-like pattern of their spots.