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Beast Buddies

Do animals have friends?

Meredith Bashaw says she started looking for social attachments among giraffes because they weren't supposed to have any. She needed a group to contrast with the more sociable animals she was examining as a beginning graduate student several years ago. Big field studies of wild giraffes in the 1970s hadn't found signs that the adults cared much one way or the other about which giraffe was munching on a neighboring tree. "Giraffes just seemed to move about the plains of Africa like random molecules in your coffee cup," says Bashaw.

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