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The Medici Giraffe and Other Tales of Exotic Animals and Power

Pliny writes about a creature that we now refer to as a giraffe:

Two other kinds of beasts there be, that resemble in some sort, the Camels: the one is called of the Æthyopians, the Nabis, necked like an horse, for legge and foot not unlike the boeufe, headed for all the world as a camell, beset with white spots upon a red ground, whereupon it taketh the name of Camelopardalus: & the first time that it was seen at Rome, was in the games Circenses set out by Cæsar Dictatour: since which time, hee commethh now and then to Rome, to be looked upon more for sight than for any wild nature that he hath: whereupon some have given her the name of a Savage sheepe.

See also Caesar's Giraffe, The giraffes that sailed to medieval China, Exotics in Post-Medieval European Art: Giraffes and Centaurs, and Medieval Bestiary: Giraffe.