Giraffes are creatures with extremely long necks and towering legs which make them the largest among all ruminants and the tallest of all land animals and mammals. They belong to Giraffidae family and further fall in the category of even-toed creatures. In the scientific world, they are known as Giraffa camelopardalis. Savannahs and open grasslands of the African continent are where they exist.
The tall animal measures from sixteen to twenty feet in height with its neck alone being around six feet tall. The males can be up to 3,500 pounds in weight while their female counterparts are approximately 1,830 pounds heavy on average. Their long necks are also quite heavy with an average weight of 600 pounds approximately.
Giraffa camelopardalis is a very interesting animal. Nine identified sub-species exist which differ on the basis of the pattern of brown spots on their skin. There are many intriguing giraffe facts. This amazing information is mentioned below:
Facts about Giraffes
- Just the legs of a Giraffa camelopardalis are around six feet in height and are, therefore, even taller than an average man.
- Their walking speed is quite high: 10 mph. They can also run at a speed of 35 mph to cover short distances.
- They find it very hard to bend their knees for sitting. That is why most of their activities are carried out in the standing position. They even sleep standing up with their heads resting on the branches of tall trees.
- At the time of delivery, mothers remain in the standing position. A baby Giraffa camelopardalis falls around five feet to the ground as soon as it is born.
- Their long necks and legs pose difficulty when they have to bend down to drink water from a water body on the ground. They have to bend their legs awkwardly for this purpose. Therefore, they only drink rarely and store water in their bodies like camels in order to go without drinking for many days.
- They are herbivores and eat leaves from trees. Their main food source is Acacia leaves. The dewdrops on the leaves also fulfill their need for water to some extent.
- Babies are very active and quite strong. They stand up just half an hour after being born and can start running around after ten hours.
- At birth, the calves are already taller than average humans as they are born six feet tall.
- The difference between two individuals is that of the pattern of spots found on the coat. It is unique like finger prints of humans.
- The spots on their skin also play the role in estimation of their age since older Giraffa camelopardalis have darker spots.
- They have distinctive horns on their heads which are covered with hair. These horns are called ossicones.
- The animal possesses four stomachs for better digestion of food.
- The animal's name diffused from Arabic to other languages and finally English. It was zarafa in Arabic, giraffa in Italian and girafe in French which is closes to its present-day English name.
Pictures of Giraffe
Among photos of other animals, the giraffe pictures are very amazing and arouse the fascination of kids as well as grown up animal lovers. The unique physical features of these tall mammals can be seen in their snaps. When you look at these photos, notice the following special traits:
- The proportion of their six feet tall necks as compared to the rest of their body.
- Their large feet which measure around twelve feet and are, therefore, as big as dinner plates.
- Differences in the formation of spots between various individuals.
- The difference in the length of their rear legs with the ones at the front appearing to be shorter although there is no actual difference.
- Their ossicones which can be as long as five inches in length.
- Their beautiful and prominent eyes which are lined by thick and long eyelashes in the upper eyelid.
- Their extraordinarily long tongues which are protruded out to pluck leaves off the tall trees.
These are the most interesting features to notice in the photos of Giraffa camelopardalis.
Giraffe habitat is determined by the presence of the mammal's food. It lives in areas with plenty of deciduous trees and evergreens. Its favorite food, the acacia trees, should also be in abundance. These exist in African open grasslands as well as wooden savannahs. Therefore, the animal can be found in eastern Africa in areas extending from southern Mali to Kenya as well as southern to northern South Africa. The animal is not found on other continents of the earth. However, they are often kept in captivity in zoos around the world.
They live peacefully, roaming around among the trees in the wild. They can live as long as twenty five years if not encountered by any predator. However, damage to their natural home by humans is causing the mammal to decrease in numbers. Sadly, the West African and Ugandan species are already endangered.