Evaluation of somatotype in the reticulated giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) using three-dimensional laser measurement

Nobuhide Kido, Sohei Tanaka, Tomoko Omiya, Yuko Wada, Mina Shigenari, Takanori Munakata, Masaki Ogawa
Journal of Veterinary Medical Science 2018 October 10, 80 (10): 1528-1533
The giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) is a difficult animal to keep in captivity as it has high mortality due to nutrition-related disorders, perhaps because the giraffe's condition is difficult to evaluate. Image analysis techniques have recently become popular and may be useful for evaluating the giraffe's somatotype. The present study aimed to evaluate the giraffe somatotype using a three-dimensional laser measurement device, and to examine the usefulness of this method. First, ten zoo staff members visually evaluated the somatotypes of three giraffes housed at Kanazawa Zoological Gardens, Japan. Next, three-dimensional point cloud datasets were obtained from these giraffes using the device. The point cloud datasets indicated that the cross-sectional area and width of the largest giraffe's body were large in the abdominal region in the transverse sections. However, by visual examination, the ten zoo staff members deemed a different giraffe to be the largest. These results indicated that the three-dimensional laser measurement device could be used to evaluate giraffe somatotype in detail, and that this method may be an alternative to visual evaluation.

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