All the time something to chew, the highest, unusually beautiful coloring, the animal lives in the savannahs of South and East Africa. Where its main food grows in abundance – acacia.
It is difficult to imagine someone so tall among the representatives of the animal kingdom, and it is not necessary, because the giraffe is considered the tallest land animal, the growth of which reaches 5.5 to 6 meters, while its weight is 1 ton.
Interestingthat the tallest giraffe has a height of 6 meters 10 centimeters (listed in the Guinness Book of Records).
The giraffe is an animal that does not like to be alone, but is happy to integrate into a group. This handsome man is a very peaceful animal, distinguished by a good disposition and calmness.
The fauna of Africa is very diverse, there is just no one: hippos, zebras, amazing birds, chimpanzees, etc. We decided to find out more about giraffes and collected some interesting facts about them.
No wonder we see giraffes chewing their food all the time in documentaries or photographs, because it belongs to the group of ruminants.
It is worth noting that they always chew, even when moving. Animals give preference to acacia trees – they spend at least 12 hours on food. In addition, they willingly consume young grass and other plants.
Interesting fact: giraffes are called “gatherers”, because. they reach the high branches and eat the young shoots. Animals have a unique mouth – inside there is a purple tongue reaching a length of 50 cm. There are sensory hairs on the lips of a giraffe – it is with them that the animal determines the maturity of the plant and if there are thorns on it so as not to injure yourself.
9. I can’t yawn
Oh, how sweet it is to yawn, anticipating rest and sleep … However, this feeling is unfamiliar to a giraffe – animals never yawn. In any case, those who had been near him for a long time did not notice such a reflex.
The explanation for this is quite simple – the giraffe does not yawn, because it does not physically need this reflex. Due to his long neck, his body is equipped with devices that allow the brain not to lack oxygen.
8. Has ossicones – unique cartilaginous formations
Have you ever noticed that a giraffe has something like horns on its head? Take a closer look… These are ossicones – unique cartilaginous formations with which a giraffe is born (trouser-like protrusions are characteristic of both male and female).
At birth, the ossicones are not yet attached to the skull, so they easily bend as they pass through the birth canal. Gradually, the cartilaginous formations ossify and become small horns, which subsequently increase. On the head of a giraffe most often there is only one pair of ossicones, but it happens that there are individuals with two pairs.
7. Capable of reaching speeds of up to 55 km/h
The giraffe is an amazing animal in every way! He is able to run at a gallop at a speed of 55 km/h.. That is to say, the animal could well outrun the average racehorse.
This handsome, long-legged man has everything needed for a quick run, but he does it rarely and clumsily, but in the event that a predator chases him, the giraffe is able to accelerate so much that he will overtake a lion and even a cheetah.
The largest land animal on Earth could also become one of the fastest (after the camel, of course, this animal can accelerate up to 65 km/h.)
6. Incredibly durable leather
Another interesting fact about the giraffe – animal skin is so strong that shields are made from it. It does not bother the giraffe, as it may seem, but, on the contrary, thanks to the strong skin, the animal is more stable.
The skin of this bright representative of African fauna is so dense that the Masai (African tribe) make shields from it.
Therefore, when it becomes necessary to sting a giraffe, one has to be inventive here. Medication is given to the giraffe using some kind of weapon – syringes are fired from it. Difficult procedure, but no other way.
5. Okapi is the closest relative
A close relative of the giraffe is the beautiful okapi.. Its neck and legs are elongated, outwardly the animal resembles a horse. The hind legs have a rather bizarre coloration – black, faded stripes that resemble the skin of a zebra. Thanks to this coloring, the animal looks interesting.
The okapi has a short, velvety, chocolate-red coat. The limbs of the animal are white, the head is light brown and with large ears, the muzzle is full of charm! She has big black eyes, which, of course, evoke a feeling of tenderness in everyone.
Many people dream of seeing the okapi live, however, to do this, you need to go to the Congo – the animal lives only there.
4. Rolls up into a ball when he sleeps
To sleep, the animal chooses the night. The giraffe is a rather slow animal, moves slowly and calmly. Sometimes he stops and stands for a long time – because of this, for a long time people assumed that the animal did not sleep at all or stood up.
However, during the research (they began to be conducted not so long ago – about 30 years ago), another thing was established – the animal sleeps no more than 2 hours a day.
To regain strength and sleep, the giraffe lies down on the ground and lays its head on the torso (This position is typical of the “deep sleep” phase, it lasts about 20 minutes a day). Being half asleep during the day, the animal compensates for the lack of sleep.
3. Drink up to 40 liters of water at a time
Of course, it is difficult for us to imagine how one can drink 40 liters of water at once, but giraffes do it perfectly. It is known that with its long tongue, the giraffe plucks leaves from trees – it needs enough moisture, which is contained in the succulent parts of plants.
It can be concluded that the liquid needs of a giraffe are mainly covered by food, which is why it can go without drinking for several weeks. But if the giraffe still decides to drink water, then it can master up to 40 liters at once.!
Interesting fact: the giraffe’s body is organized in such a way that it cannot tilt its head towards the water while standing. When drinking, he must spread his front legs wide to be able to lower his head towards the water.
2. The spotted body pattern is individual, like a human fingerprint
Each giraffe has an individual pattern of spots, very similar to human fingerprints.. The color of the animal varies, and once zoologists identified several types of giraffes: Masai (found in East Africa), reticulated (lives in the forests of Somalia and northern Kenya).
Zoologists say it’s impossible to find two giraffes that are the same color – the spots are unique, like a fingerprint.
1. 9 distinct subspecies identified
There are 9 modern subspecies of an amazing animal – the giraffe, we will now list them. The Nubian lives in the eastern part of South Sudan, as well as in southwestern Ethiopia.
West African is spoken in Niger. The reticulated giraffe is found in Kenya and southern Somalia. The Kordofanian inhabits the Central African Republic, the Ugandan animal can be seen in Uganda.
Masai (by the way, the largest giraffe subspecies) is common in Kenya and is also found in Tanzania. Thornycroft is found in Zambia, Angola in northern Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa in Botswana. Often it can also be seen in Zimbabwe and southwestern Mozambique.