A Giraffe's Life

By: Amy Lee Snyder

how many are left in the world?

How many giraffes are left in the world depends on if you are counting individual species or total. There are a few that are on the endangered species list with only around 220 left. There are others with numbers that range around 20,000. In total it is said that there are around 80,000 with all of the types of giraffe combined.

what is so special about giraffes

1. It is reticulated, that is its coat is broken up into light and dark patches - lets them blend in to the trees and grass.
2. It is eats acacia leaves which are toxic and the acacia tree is loaded with thorns. Strangely enough it eats only on the downwind side of the tree as chemicals released from the damaged leaves make the other acacia leaves more bitter if they contact the leaves.
3. It has a long neck, but the neck is quite stiff, not like a snake's spine. This is due to the fact that it only has seven neck bones just like you and me. The giraffe males fight with their necks.
4. Its tongue is purple and long enough to pull clumps of leaves to its mouth.
5. The giraffe is essentially silent - a bit of grunting now and then.
6. Pictures show giraffes drinking from ponds then lifting their heads, there is a pressure regulation systems there to keep the blood pressure from rising and falling and blowing the arteries.
7. In the same way the heart has to work hard to pump fluids that high .
8. There are birds all over each giraffe that eat ticks. Some giraffes die of tick infestations.
9. It is the tallest living animal and can weigh almost two tonnes.
10. It was once called a Camelopard.
11. It only has one living related species, the okapi.
12. Giraffes only sleep 10 minutes to two hours a day.
13. Giraffes have knobby horns