Giraffe Reflections

Dale Peterson, photographs by Karl Ammann. Univ. of California, $39.95 (232p) ISBN 978-0-520-26685-8
Conservationists estimate that there are fewer than 75,000 giraffes remaining in the world, scattered about in small pockets of declining habitat across Africa. In this stunning collection of Ammann's photographs, Peterson (Jane Goodall) offers an engaging natural history of giraffes, as well as a look at their behavior and beauty. The Greek historian Agatharchides referred to the giraffe as the animal that "Greeks call camelopardalis… [i]t has the varied coat of a leopard, the shape of a camel… [i]ts neck is long enough for it to browse in the tops of trees." Drawing on scientific studies, Peterson notes the manifold advantages of being tall and long-necked, which increases the animals' ability to avoid predators, thermoregulate, forage for food, and find suitable mates. Giraffes exhibit traits that reveal the workings of their own mental worlds, including the behaviors of sparring, vigilance, fear, and flight. Ammann's exquisite photos portray the giraffes' majesty and just how impoverished our world would be if they "march into a night of nonexistence." 111 color illus., 2 b&w photos. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/19/2013
Release date: 09/01/2013
Open Ebook - 232 pages - 978-0-520-95696-4
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