The giraffe is an African mammal, the tallest living terrestrial animal, and the largest ruminant. Extremely long neck and legs, and distinctive coat patterns are the main characteristics of this beautiful animal. Moreover, its prehensile tongue lets our very tall friend browse foliage almost 20 feet from the ground!
Where can we find the giraffe?
Its scattered range extends from Chad in the north to South Africa in the south, and from Niger in the west to Somalia in the east. Moreover, savannas and open woodlands are this animal’s favorite habitat. Yet, some of them can even be found in desert environments. Naturally, during the wet season when the food is abundant, the giraffe is more spread out. On the contrary, during the dry season, this beauty will hide from the sun in bushes and evergreen trees.
How does the giraffe look?
Located at both sides of the head, the giraffe’s large, bulging eyes give it a good all-round vision from its great height. As far as the distinctive coat concerned, it has dark patches separated by light hair, perfectly serving as camouflage. Just like the zebra, every single giraffe has a unique coat pattern. Finally, a fully grown giraffe stands from 14,1 to 18,7 feet. The average weight is 2,628 pounds.
Our tall friend prefers to eat shoots and leaves, mainly from the acacia tree. Did you know this herbivore consumes even 145 pounds of food a day? Along with fruit and grass, all of that is an extremely important source of calcium and protein, essential for the giraffe’s growth. Yet, although herbivorous, our beauty will even sometimes visit carcasses to lick dried meat off bones.
Giraffes are polygamous, and a few older males will mate with the fertile females. Just like the male impalas, the male giraffe will smell the female’s urine in order to detect whether she is ready to mate. After a gestation period of 400 to 460 days, a single calf is born, although twins may occur as well. The mother gives birth standing up. Even a newborn baby is tall 5,6 to 6,6 feet.
Did you know giraffes only need 5 to 30 minutes of sleep in a 24-hour period?
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