Majestic Giraffe

Posted in Wildlife A-Z | April 6, 2010 | Comment Now

Giraffe is the world’s tallest mammal. They owe this to their towering legs and long necks. The legs of the giraffe are taller than most humans, standing at 6 feet. These legs allow the giraffe to run up to 35 mph over short distances. Over longer distances, they cruise at 10 mph.

These grandiose animals roam the open grasslands in groups of six to ten. Male bulls often engage in battle using their long necks and heads as battling gear. These skirmishes do not pose any dangers. They end with one animal walking away.

Giraffes use their height to good benefits. They gorge on leaves and buds that lie high on the treetops. Few animals can reach these trees. The acacia plant is a particular favorite among the giraffe population. The tongue of the giraffe is directly proportional to their height. On an average, their tongues extend up to 21 inches. This long tongue helps them feed on tasty morsels from the branches. Giraffes tend to eat most of the time. Similar to cows, giraffes regurgitate the food and chew it in the form of cud. Each week a giraffe downs hundreds of pounds of leaves. It needs to travel miles in search for sufficient food.

The height of the giraffe helps it focus on predators that lie in the African savanna. Its height has its disadvantages. For instance, it is tedious and dangerous for a giraffe to sip at a water hole. In order to drink, they need to spread their legs and bend in an awkward position. This puts them at risk for prey by the wild cats of Africa. They need to drink fresh water once in a few days as they get plenty of water from the plants they consume.

Females give birth in an upright position. The young ones enter this world by falling for more than five feet. They can stand within half an hour. Within 10 hours of birth, they begin to run.

The coats of the giraffe are beautifully spotted. No two giraffes have the same pattern. However, there is similarity among giraffes within the same area.

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