The Giraffe

the tallest living animal on land

Background Information

  • Giraffa camelopardalis
  • (Height) 4m - 6m (13ft - 20ft)
  • (Weight) 550kg - 1,930kg (1,200lbs - 4,200lbs)
  • Elongated neck and unique patterned coat
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  • The giraffe is a long necked, hoofed mammal that is natively found grazing in the open woodlands of sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Giraffes prefer warm and dry climates.
  • Approximate Population - 80,000
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  • The Giraffe is a herbivorous animal that most commonly eats from acacia trees but also browses for wild apricots, flowers, fruits and buds along with eating seeds and fresh grass just after the rains.
  • Giraffes are known to eat up to 60 different species of plant throughout the year and do so by grabbing onto branches with their long, black tongue (that can grow up to 18 inches long) and using their tough prehensile lips and flattened, grooved teeth are able to strip the leaves off the branches.
  • The Giraffe's predators are lions, leopards, and hyenas.

Interesting facts

  • Giraffes are ruminants. This means that they have more than one stomach. In fact, giraffes have four stomachs, the extra stomachs assisting with digesting food.
  • A female giraffe gives birth while standing up. The calf drops approximately 6 feet to the ground, but it is not hurt from the fall.
  • Giraffes get 70% of their moisture from their food so need to drink very little.
  • The giraffe’s long legs allow them to run as fast as 35 miles (56 kilometers) an hour over short distances.
  • A male giraffe can weigh as much as a pick up truck! That’s about 1400 kilograms.

interesting characteristic/adaptaption

  • The Giraffe has evolved to be the height that it is so that it has less competition for food on the higher branches of the canopy.
  • Giraffes live on the vast open plains so their height gives them the best view possible of their surroundings to spot predators.