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The Rare Thornycroft's Giraffe

The Rare Thornycroft's Giraffe
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2000-04
Categories: Mammals
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-04-28 8:01
Viewed: 14732
Points: 34
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I took this shot on a visit to South Luangwa National Park in Zambia. This is the only place where Thornycroft’s Giraffe is found – reputedly the most beautiful of the sub-species. It is a scanned slide,(which I admit, is a bit grainy now I have uploaded it) taken on a Canon 3 – which I hated.

There are nine generally accepted subspecies, differentiated by colour and pattern variations and range:

•Reticulated or Somali Giraffe (G.c. reticulata) — large, polygonal liver-colored spots outlined by a network of bright white lines. The blocks may sometimes appear deep red and may also cover the legs. Range: 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. Range: Angola, Zambia.

•Kordofan Giraffe (G.c. antiquorum) — smaller, more irregular spots that cover the inner legs. Range: western and southwestern Sudan.

•Masai or Kilimanjaro Giraffe (G.c. tippelskirchi) — jagged-edged, vine-leaf shaped spots of dark chocolate on a yellowish background. Range: 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. Range: eastern Sudan, northeast Congo.

•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. Range: Uganda, north-central Kenya.

•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. Range: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique.

•Thornycroft or Rhodesian Giraffe (G.c. thornicrofti) — star-shaped or leafy spots extend to the lower leg. Range: eastern Zambia.

•West African or Nigerian Giraffe (G.c. peralta) — numerous pale, yellowish red spots. Range: Niger, Cameroon.

Some scientists regard Kordofan and West African Giraffes as a single subspecies; similarly with Nubian and Rothschild's Giraffes, and with Angolan and South African Giraffes. Further, some scientists regard all populations except the Masai Giraffes as a single subspecies. By contrast, scientists have proposed four other subspecies — Cape Giraffe (G.c. capensis), Lado Giraffe (G.c. cottoni), Congo Giraffe (G.c. congoensis), and Transvaal Giraffe (G.c. wardi) — but none of these is widely accepted. (Wiki)

Most giraffes seen in zoos are Masai, Reticulated and occasionally Rothschild’s

Alex99, Adanac, sandpiper2, fartash, uleko, delic, nglen, Argus, ramthakur, Evelynn, tomcezar has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-04-28 8:09]

Hi James.
What a nice picture of this amazing animal. How did you manage to contain the whole giraffe into the frame? Perfect composed shot with excellent rich colours. Image is sharp, well contrasted. DOF and details of the animal and scenery are wonderful too. Superb work and my congratulations.
P.S. Note is perfect too.

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2007-04-28 8:18]

Hello James,
What beautiful patterns on this giraffe, although as you say the shot is graint, we still get a very good view of this magnificient animal, thanks James.

Great note, but I do love giraffe.
Good shot and you remembered to add a bit at the bottom for the hidden lower legs, very good.
Haven't seen a shot of this subspecies for sometime, so its very pleasing to view.
Well composed and the background is blurred enough to make the giraffe stand out.
Well done.

Hello James
Very intersting spiece to shoot,
Perfect lighting and composition,


  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2007-04-28 11:11]

Hi James,

Wonderful shot - from head to toe. How did you do that? The colors and details are wonderful and we can see the patterns and that cute face. Good perspective.


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-04-28 11:12]

Hello James,
WHat a beautiful giraffe with star-shaped spots! I honestly never knew that there were so many different subspecies. Very interesting note and a superb shot showing sharp details and lovely colours of this giant in a nice pose. You must have felt pretty small!
TFS and regards, ULla

  • Great 
  • delic Gold Star Critiquer [C: 440 W: 6 N: 310] (898)
  • [2007-04-28 11:18]

Hi James,
That giraffe barely fit the frame it seems. It's beautiful, and so is the photo with nice contrast. Cheers!

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2007-04-28 11:20]

Hi James, This is a very nice shot, the colour and detail is spot on . great compostion and POV. with a lovely background .TFS, Very well done.
Nick ..great note again.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-04-28 11:32]

Hello James,
Excellent portrait of this rare sub-species of Giraffe. I can't fault it! It is in my opinion a perfect shot if the whole Giraffe is to be included. The pose is magnificent and the contrasting green BG superb! Informative note too.
TFS and best wishes, Ivan

  • Great 
  • demeve Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 586 W: 12 N: 1682] (6165)
  • [2007-04-28 12:32]

Hi James, good capture of this Giraffe, never seem on of this, thanks for introducing it to US..

There is a bit of noise in this scan, James. Nevertheless, the image gives a good idea about the beauty of this tall and elegant giraffe.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-04-28 21:49]

Hello James

A beautiful shot of this giraffe.I anticipate each of your shots...and always wonder what amazing locale you will be presenting.I am such a homer never leaving the area lol.The image is very good despite the transfer from slide.The composition is very well done,and the colours come through quite well.The graininess on my monitor seems to be just in the BG in the foliage and does not detract from the subject at all.A wonderful post to TN.TFS


Yesterday--Norway. Today Zambia! I can't keep up with you. You don't even stay on the same continent for two days in a row!!
The picture quality is not terrible and it is a beautiful giraffe. I didn't know that there were so many varieties. It is a nice full frame image with good color.

Evelynn : )

Hello James lovely catch the detailed patterns on the fur is amazing good viewpoint nicely composed. Superb work you are sharing with us rgds Necip.

Hi James.
Very impressive picture. Good detail, good composition. Well done. tfs. stev

Hi James,
Another cool animal to add to your exotic collection. I wish I had the chance to photograph the Thornycroft’s Giraffe. My favorite of the giraffes are the Maasai. :)

Amazing giraffe, with incredible colours and texture. And very good notes about subspecies of giraffe. Very good photo. Bravo.
Best regards and TFS, Cezar T.

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