Giraffes are the world’s tallest mammals and can grow up to a height of 5.9 meters tall and weigh 1900 kilograms. In Latin, giraffes are referred to as “Giraffe Camelopardalis,” which means “one who walks quickly, a camel marked like a leopard.” Giraffes have even-toed ungulates.
Giraffes have four different species, namely Masai giraffe (Giraffa tippelskirchi), northern giraffe (Giraffa Camelopardalis), reticulated giraffe (Giraffa reticulate), and the southern giraffe (Giraffa giraffe), which evolved separately according to DNA.
One can determine a giraffe’s sex by its ossicones. The female has their ossicones covered with tufts of hair while their male counterparts have bald ossicones. The male giraffes can grow up to 19 feet tall and weigh over 4,000 pounds, while the female is up to 16 feet tall and weigh 2,500 pounds.
A giraffe’s diet mainly consists of fresh leaves at treetops and twigs. As much as giraffes are considered herbivorous, they sometimes eat bones from carcasses to be able to meet their need for calcium and phosphorous to strengthen their bone. This kind of behavior is referred to as osteophagy. Giraffes can consume over 65 pounds of food in a single day.
Giraffes are the tallest mammals, with heights reaching up to 5.5 meters.
Giraffes can achieve speeds of up to 35 miles per hour on short distances and 10 miles per hour while covering long distances.
They have a huge heart that weighs approximately 25 pounds, and this has a crucial role in pumping and circulation of around 60 liters of blood to the brain and body. Their lungs are almost eight times the size of a human lung and have a much lower intake of air.
Giraffe’s intake of water is limited to once every few days since they get most of their water from plants they eat. They experience awkward moments when drinking water from a source since their necks aren’t able to reach the ground directly; thus have to shuffle, kneel and splay their legs to get a good drinking angle. At one sitting, giraffes can have an intake of ten gallons of water.
Their tongues can grow up to 45centimeters long, and they are darkly colored to prevent sunburns since they stick out their tongues most of the time. Having a prehensile tongue makes it easy for a giraffe to grip food, just like an elephant trunk. Giraffes use their tongues to pick their nose.
They have a set of 32 teeth which are place at the front of the bottom jaw and back of the top jaw, and additionally have a dental pad hat assists to grip leaves or twigs.
9. Play a great role in Pollination.
Due to their great heights, giraffes are considered to be one of the best agents of cross-pollination as they transfer genetic materials from the flowers of one tree to another.
The only animal that is related to the giraffe is the Okapi which falls in the Giraffidae family, although the Okapi has a shorter neck and has black and white stripes like a zebra and has a long tongue that measures 14 to 18 inches enabling them to lick their eyelids and ears.
At birth, a giraffe takes almost half an hour before it can stand on its feet and up to 10 hours before it can run.
12. Life span
The normal life span of a giraffe is around 25 years. Giraffes spend most of their life span living in herds.
Giraffes will snort, moo or hum when they sense danger or during the night when resting.
14. Sex and reproduction
Giraffes mate and give birth while standing. The gestation period of a giraffe is 450days, and they give birth to a calf weighing around 100 kilograms and a height of 1.6 meters tall. They often go back to where they were born to give birth. The calf falls headfirst to the ground a distance of over five feet, and this also detaches the embryo from the mother.
15. Best Friend
Giraffe’s best friend is the Oxpecker since it plays a vital role in feeding on insects, mites, and ticks that live on the giraffe’s neck.
They are very social, non-territorial, and move in packs of around 15 to 30 members called a tower which is led by a male adult.
Each giraffe has its unique spots just like fingerprints, and every species have different unique type of spot patterns.
They have very long eyelashes that protect them from sand and insects.
19. Endangered Population
Their numbers have drastically dropped by almost 40% in the past 50 years and are vulnerable to extinction due to poaching, human encroachment, diseases, and climate change.
20. White Giraffe
White giraffes are very rare and suffer from a genetic disorder called leucism that affects the production of pigment on their skin.
Giraffes sleep between ten minutes to two hours and mostly sleep while standing.
Giraffes have four stomach chambers that play different roles in the digestion of food.
The two horns on a giraffe are called ossicones and are made of cartilage covered with skin.
Their necks have seven vertebrae, thus having a similarity with the number of bones as a human neck.
Giraffes have very strong kicks that could shatter an animal’s skull.
26. Stink Bulls
Giraffes produce a pungent smell to defend themselves against parasites and insects, and this odor is nicknamed “stink bulls.” The odor consists of antibiotics and foul-smelling chemicals that repel parasites.
Their long necks act as a defense mechanism to help them keep an eye on predators. Giraffes use their six feet necks to fight each other by swinging them at each other and would result in damage due to the impact and the weight that is around 600 pounds. Due to a dense network of capillaries, valves, and blood vessels that prevent backflow of blood and rapid changes in blood pressure in the brain, giraffes can avoid collapsing when lifting and lowering their heads.
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