Giraffes are as socially complex as elephants, study finds — ScienceDaily

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Scientists at the University of Bristol have discovered evidence that giraffes are a highly socially complex species.

Traditionally, giraffes were thought to have little or no social structure, and only fleeting, weak relationships. However in the last ten years, research has shown that giraffe social organisation is much more advanced than once thought.

In a paper published in today in the journal Mammal Review, Zoe Muller, of Bristol’s School of Biological Sciences, has demonstrated that giraffes spend up to 30% of their lives in a post-reproductive state. This is comparable to other species with highly complex social structures and cooperative care, such as elephants and killer-whales which spend 23% and 35% of their lives in a post-reproductive state respectively. In these species, it has been demonstrated that the presence of post-menopausal females offers survival benefits for…

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