Above It All, 2015

By Ami Vitale

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A reticulated giraffe towers above the shrubbery in northern Kenya.

One of the earliest theories put forward as to why giraffe have such long necks is that it gives them an advantage in securing nutrients. They can reach leaves that no other animals can. The theory dates back to the time of Darwin.

Others posit that the long necks are a result of sexual selection since male giraffes battle with their necks to win mates. Most recently, scientists have hypothesized that the long necks are to help fight the African heat. The greater surface area allows more heat can escape.

Whichever it may be, these fascinating creatures are in trouble. Their numbers have fallen 30 percent in three decades, plummeting from approximately 155,000 in the late 1980s to about 110,000 today. Reticulated giraffe number fewer than 16,000.

This fine-art photograph will be printed with archival inks on Canson Infinity Edition Etching Rag 310 gsm, a museum grade 100% cotton Fine Art paper with a subtle texture and beautiful grain, reminiscent of the original genuine etching and printmaking papers. 

100% of profits from the sale of this print will be donated to Ol Pejeta Conservancy. 

National Geographic Magazine photographer and filmmaker Ami Vitale has traveled to more than 100 countries, bearing witness not only to violence and conflict, but also to surreal beauty and the enduring power of the human spirit. Learn more about Ami Vitale.

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