Biofluorescence and predator avoidance in the giraffe

Kin Morandi, Anna K. Lindholm, Derek E. Lee, Monica L. Bond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Biofluorescence of mammalian pelage may serve to hide prey from predators sensitive to ultraviolet radiation, among other potential functions. To date biofluorescence has been documented in nocturnal-crepuscular and fossorial mammals that are active under low-light conditions. Giraffes are primarily diurnal, but biofluorescent pelage might offer camouflage from their nocturnal felid predators. Using a full-spectrum camera we qualitatively analyzed UV reflectance and absorption in giraffe pelage from a museum specimen. We found no trace of UV biofluorescence in the giraffe pelage, suggesting that this trait may not be ecologically or biologically relevant in giraffes. The function of biofluorescence in mammals remains elusive, but our study contributes to the growing body of data about biofluorescence, or its lack thereof, in diurnal versus nocturnal-crepuscular or fossorial mammal species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-522
Number of pages4
JournalAfrican Journal of Ecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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