Giraffe

Facts About Giraffe

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The giraffe is an African mammal, the tallest living terrestrial animal and the largest ruminant animal.

It can be found from Chad in the north to South Africa in the south, and from Niger in the west to Somalia in the east.

Giraffes usually inhabit savannahs and woodlands. Their food source is leaves, fruits and flowers of woody plants, primarily acacia species, which they browse at heights most other herbivores cannot reach.

Fully grown giraffes stand 4.3 – 5.7 m tall, with males taller than females. The average weight is 1,192 kg for an adult male and 828 kg for an adult female. The giraffes have a very long tongue and is about 45 cm long.

Both sexes have prominent horn-like structures called ossicones, which are formed from ossified cartilage, covered in skin and fused to the skull at the parietal bones. These horns like structure are used during fighting or flicking high branches to get food.

Giraffes live in herds of related females and their offspring, or bachelor herds of unrelated adult males.

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Giraffe gestation period is about 14 - 15 months, and birth 1 - 2 calf during the dry season.

Giraffe life span is between 20 - 25 years.

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