Giraffe

Giraffa camelopardalis

Classifaction

  • Domain Eukarya- Can be multicelluar or single-celled. Every organism in this Domain has a nucleus. It is split into 4 kingdoms.
  • Kingdom Animalia- They all ingest food in a hollow part of the body. All animals are multicelluar. All animals are heterotrophs.
  • Phylum Chordata- All of these animals have bilateral symmetry. They have an endoskeleton, which is a cartilaginous or bony inner skeleton. They also have a tail protruding at one point of life.
  • Sub-Phylum Vertebrata- Heart in the lower abdomen. their hearts are split into 4 chambers. movements are provided by muscles that are attached to bones.
  • Class Mammalia- They have hair on their bodies. They also have 3 middle ear bones. There is about 5,000 species that are in the class mammalia
  • Order Artiodactyla- This order has the most diverse,large, land animals on earth. Found in almost all habitats. They even-toed hooves.
  • Family Giraffidae- Their are only 2 species in this family are the okapi and the giraffe. they live in Sub-Saharan areas in Africa. They have short horns.
  • Genus Giraffa- Giraffes
  • Species- Giraffa camelopardalis

General Description

  • Height- male: 5.7 m; female: 5.0 m to 4.7 m
  • Weight- Male are 2,400 - 4,250 Lb. Females are 1,540 - 2,600
  • Coat Color- It has a Chestnut body heavily covered in dark brown spots.
  • Natural Range- It lives in savannas and somewhat desert-like areas in Africa.
  • Habitat Description- they live in a semi-desert areas with acacia tree on scarce shrubs in Africa.
  • Diet- They eat Acacia leaves, Mimosa and apricot leaves, other leaves, seed pods, and fruits.
  • Natural Predators- Their main predator is the lion. The hyena and the leopard also are predators to the giraffe

Physical Adaptations

Giraffes have a lot of physical adaptations. Their eye are towards the top of their heads which helps them watch out for predators. They can use their long legs and hooves to hit enemies to protect themselves. Their long neck helps them reach the top of acacia trees so they can eat the leaves. They are able to stand a long time without water which is helpful since they live in semi-desert areas which may be scarce of water. Their muscular noses can open and close to protect them from ants that live in trees and sandstorms. They have long tongues which can grasp things and flexible lips can help them eat the leaves off of trees. These adaptations help the giraffe live in it's natural habitat.

Behavioral Adaptations

Giraffes also have some behavioral adaptations. The milk calves drink has a large fat content so they grow faster. Scientists think that giraffes communicate with ultrasonics, this means that predators will not hear them so they are less likely to get caught. Giraffes have "Necking parties" in which male push their necks against each other to prove dominance over a herd, This helps them settle things without death or bad injury. females whistle to their young when in danger or distress to warn them so the calves can get away from the predators. Mothers lick their calves to get rid of the newborn scent so predators do not smell them as vulnerable children and come after them. Their behaviors help them live in their natural habitat.

References

References

Burton, M. (2002). Giraffe. In International wildlife encyclopedia (3rd ed., Vol. 7, pp. 975-977). New York, NY: Marshall Cavendish.

Giraffe. (n.d.). Retrieved March 19, 2015, from BBC Nature website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/life/Giraffe


Jango-Cohen, J. (2002). Nature Books: Giraffes. New York, NY: Marshall Cavendish/ Benchmark Books.

Maasai giraffe. (n.d.). Retrieved March 19, 2015, from The Cincinnati Zoo website: http://cincinnatizoo.org/blog/animals/maasai-giraffe/


Maisano, S. (2006, April 29). Giraffa camelopardalis (T. Dewey, Ed.). Retrieved March 11, 2015, from Animal Diversity Web website:

http://animaldiversity.org/


McCarthy, E. M. (n.d.). Giraffe habitat. Retrieved March 25, 2015, from macroevolution website:

http://www.macroevolution.net/giraffe-habitat.html


Reticulated giraffe. (n.d.). Retrieved March 18, 2015, from Chicago Zoological Society's Brookfield Zoo website:

http://www.czs.org/Brookfield-ZOO/Zoo-Animals/Habitat-Africa!-The-Savannah/Reticulated-Giraffe.aspx


Savanna biomes. (n.d.). Retrieved from Blue Planet Biomes Animal Index website: http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/savanna.htm