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1 December 2015 Concurrent Pregnancy and Lactation in Wild Giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis)
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Abstract

Lactation boosts reproductive costs by depleting maternal condition and delaying subsequent conception. However, some evidence suggests that giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) have evolved a mechanism to minimise the time allocated to suckling-induced suppression of ovulation. Here, we show for the first time that wild giraffe cows are impregnated while nursing a young calf. We suggest that a trio of traits (non-seasonal breeding, slow embryonic development and rapid calf growth) have promoted this unusual and flexible female reproductive strategy.

© Zoological Society of Southern Africa
Francois Deacon, Pierre J Nel, and Fred B Bercovitch "Concurrent Pregnancy and Lactation in Wild Giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis)," African Zoology 50(4), (1 December 2015). https://doi.org/10.1080/15627020.2015.1120643
Received: 16 October 2015; Accepted: 12 November 2015; Published: 1 December 2015
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