The Reticulated Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata), also known as the Somali giraffe, is a subspecies of giraffe native to Somalia, southern Ethiopia, and northern Kenya. Reticulated giraffes can interbreed with other giraffe subspecies in captivity or if they come into contact with populations of other subspecies in the wild.
Fully grown giraffes stand 5–6 m (16–20 ft) tall, with males taller than females. The average weight is 1,192 kg (2,628 lb) for an adult male and 828 kg (1,825 lb) for an adult female with maximum weights of 1,930 kg (4,250 lb) and 1,180 kg (2,600 lb) having been recorded for males and females respectively. Despite its long neck and legs, the giraffe's body is relatively short. Located at both sides of the head, the giraffe's large, bulging eyes give it good all-round vision from its great height. Giraffes see in color and their senses of hearing and smell are also sharp. The animal can close its muscular nostrils to protect against sandstorms and ants. The giraffe's prehensile tongue is about 50 cm (20 in) long. It is purplish-black in color, perhaps to protect against sunburn, and is useful for grasping foliage, as well as for grooming and cleaning the animal's nose. The upper lip of the giraffe is also prehensile and useful when foraging. The lips, tongue, and inside of the mouth are covered in papillae to protect against thorns. Its coat consists of 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.
The giraffe's scattered range extends from Chad in the north to South Africa in the south, and from Niger in the west to Somalia in the east. Giraffes usually inhabit savannas, grasslands, and open woodlands.
Male giraffes use their necks as weapons in combat, a behavior known as "necking". Necking is used to establish dominance and males that win necking bouts have greater reproductive success. This behavior occurs at low or high intensity. In low intensity necking, the combatants rub and lean against each other. The male that can hold itself more erect wins the bout. In high intensity necking, the combatants will spread their front legs and swing their necks at each other, attempting to land blows with their ossicones. The contestants will try to dodge each other's blows and then get ready to counter. The power of a blow depends on the weight of the skull and the arc of the swing. A necking duel can last more than half an hour, depending on how well matched the combatants are. Although most fights do not lead to serious injury, there have been records of broken jaws, broken necks, and even deaths.