African Giraffe

African Giraffe

The giraffe is the tallest living terrestrial animal and the largest ruminant, meaning it chews a cud like a cow. Its species name refers to its camel-like appearance and the patches of color on its fur. No two giraffes have the same color patch design. It just like a fingerprint. Its chief distinguishing characteristics are its extremely long neck and legs, its horn-like ossicones and its distinctive coat patterns. It stands16–20 ft tall and has an average weight of 3,500 lb for males and 1,800 lb for females.The baby giraffe has a rude entrance into the world as it drops about 6 feet when it is born.Giraffes must kneel down to drink as they cannot reach down far enough to reach water without do so.

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This youngster was having a ball running around
the herd and getting in every one’s way.  Just like any kid.

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These are the horn-like ossicones referred to above. Ossicones are formed from ossified cartilage and are covered in skin.  Their purpose is not fully established although there is some evidence that they may  help cool the giraffe with blood flow through them.

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Giraffes are browsers, that is, they eat the leaves of bushes and, especially, trees. In the wild their primary foods are the leaves and twigs of acacia, mimosa, and wild apricot trees.  This one is browsing the top of an acacia tree.

Our next stop will be with the Hippo family.  Please click below to move on.

African Hippopotamus

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