The Art of African Exploration
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Explorers sent living animals home for further study whenever they could, but it was extremely difficult to transport a live giraffe from Africa to Europe. Scientists had to content themselves with skins and partial skeletons.

There was much debate among naturalists attempting to accurately describe the giraffe, but there was also collaboration. In addition to physical specimens, descriptive notes and drawings were sent between explorers in the field and to scientists back home.

La giraffe
La giraffe, Image number:10930

It was not uncommon in the 1700s for illustrations to reappear in different publications. The giraffe skin depicted in Buffon’s illustration (seen here), which exaggerates the animal’s size, appeared later, with alterations, in Brink’s description of his travels.
Le giraffe mâle
Le giraffe mâle, Image number:10900

From the book Nouvelle description du Cap de Bonne-Espérance.
Giraffes feeding among long grass (Jebel Zeraf - February 19, 1913),  Image number:SIL28-298-02
Giraffes feeding among long grass (Jebel Zeraf - February 19, 1913)
Giraffes are no longer common in the Cape region. This drawing is based on a fie...
Giraffe or Kameel-Paart [Giraffe or Camelopard],  Image number:SIL28-312-03
Giraffe or Kameel-Paart [Giraffe or Camelopard]
The model for this giraffe was a specimen skin sent to the collection of Prince ...
Geraamte van het Kameelpaart [Skeleton of Camelopard],  Image number:SIL28-312-04
Geraamte van het Kameelpaart [Skeleton of Camelopard]
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The Female Giraffe or Camelopardalis,  Image number:SIL28-313-02
The Female Giraffe or Camelopardalis
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 Image number:SIL28-313-03

This text is an example of the dialogue that took place when attempting to descr...
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