Giraffes’ coats can determine their age

Coats may be easily changeable for us, but for an animal their coat is there to stay. But, that doesn’t mean that they stay the same throughout their life—a giraffe’s coat is known to darken over time and new research has indicated that their markings can actually help to determine their age, with three decades of observations all coming together to help wildlife experts generate a life history profile of each animal.

The 33-year study, recently published in the Journal of Zoology, concentrated on male Thornicroft’s giraffes in Africa. It confirmed that the dark brown blotches on giraffes’ coats grew darker with age, with researchers actually being able to pinpoint the time when those changes occurred—it was found that the initial colour change started to take place between the ages of seven and eight, with their dark brown blotches going coal-black within the space of two years, and it’s thought that this darkening is the result of puberty. It’s long been known that giraffes develop darker coats as they grow older but up until now the exact timing of the changes were unknown, with these new findings meaning that researchers will be able to more accurately state the age of the giraffes they’re studying.

It isn’t just in the animal kingdom where coats can help pinpoint age either. We humans tend to pick different coats at different stages in life, and in many cases the coat can be a pretty good indication of how old the person is. Of course, there’s one type of coat that will stand the test of time no matter how old or young you may be, and that’s the duffle. It can be the perfect addition to any wardrobe and with our great range of spring styles for women it isn’t just for winter either, so take a look around and you’ll be able to fool onlookers by having a stylish, functional duffle coat at any age.