Facts about GIRAFFES

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Giraffes, are an animal uniquely found only in the African sub-continent. They have the distinction of being labelled the tallest mammal on Earth.  ‘œTall’ is akin to stretching from 14 to 19 feet. They possess equally long legs averaging six feet. Herbivorous in diet, their long legs enable them to find food at the upper levels of sparse trees in the sub-Saharan savannah grasslands of Africa.  Their life span extends to 26 years.

Fact 1.  Aligned to its height and body structure, giraffes have long tongues extending to 21 inches. This can be considered an adaption towards finding food in the sub-Sahara environment.

Fact 2.  Giraffes regurgitate the food eaten, and the cud is re-ingested.

Fact 3.   The giraffe’s height can be a disadvantage when the need to stoop low arises, and this happens when there is a need to drink water from water holes.  Their legs have to be splayed into an uncomfortable position which can make them an easy target for predators. Fortunately, the need for a drink from a waterhole arises only once every few days as most of the required water is received from plants.

Fact 4.   Baby giraffes suffer a hard landing at birth from about five feet up, depending on the height of the mother giraffe, as they give birth standing up.

Fact 5.  Female giraffes travel in herds while males are solitary and spend their time seeking prospective female giraffes.

Fact 6.    A giraffe’s duration of sleep is about half an hour per day, which is further broken down into five or six five-minute naps.

Fact 7. Necking in the giraffe world refers to male giraffes sparring with their necks entwined.

Fact 8.  Giraffes were known as camelopards duringthe ancient Roman times. It is a combination of the word ‘œcamel’ and ‘œleopard.’

Fact 9. At the age of three to four weeks, young giraffes are nestled into crèches.  A female giraffe in a herd will take care of the young giraffes until nightfall when all mothers will return to take care of their young.

Fact 10.  Giraffes have a collaborative relationship with Oxpecker birds that assist in removing ticks from the giraffes and, in return, they are provided with a resting place on the backs of giraffes.

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