Giraffes

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Three real and 3 fake photos (it should be obvious).
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INTERESTING FACTS

Giraffes are amazing animals. They are the tallest animal on earth. Even with their extreme height these animals are incredibly graceful and agile. Read this informative article to learn some interesting facts about giraffes.

The average lifespan of a giraffe in the wild is 25 years.

Male giraffes are called bulls. Females are known as cows and baby giraffes are referred to as calves.

Giraffes have black tongues that can extend approximately 51cms. Their tongues are prehensile which means that it can grab and hold onto objects.

A female giraffe gives birth to a single offspring after a gestation period of approximately 15 months. Females give birth standing up. Baby giraffes are 182cms tall and weigh an average of 68kgs when they are born.

Each giraffe has unique markings that distinguish it from others. No two giraffes have exactly the same makings.

A giraffe can run at a speed of 56km/hr. They have also been known to jump up to 2 meters.

Male giraffes stand up to 5.5m tall and weigh up to 1,800kgs.

Giraffes need very little sleep and may only sleep between 20 minutes to two hours out of a 24 hour period.

Giraffes have elongated vertebrae in their necks that protrude at the top of the giraffe's head forming small blunt horns.

The color of a giraffe's coat tends to become darker with age.

A giraffe eats about 64kgs of food a day.

The hooves of an adult giraffe are about 30cms wide.

Male giraffes perform a type of dance to impress fertile females.

Giraffes have excellent vision and are able to perceive color.

Giraffes can go for weeks without drinking water but even so they still usually seek water every few days. Giraffes get much of their water from the plants they eat.

At one time it was believed that giraffes were mute but they do make sounds. A form of communication used by giraffes is called infrasound and cannot be heard by humans. Giraffes do grunt, snort and bellow.

Giraffes need very little sleep and may only sleep between 20 minutes to two hours out of a 24 hour period.


Evolution, Darwin and the Giraffe.

Darwin was the first to say that long necks evolved in giraffes because they enabled the animals to eat foliage beyond the reach of shorter animals. That seemingly sensible explanation has surviced for over a century, but it is probably wrong, says a 'behavioral ecologist' in Namibia, he believes giraffes developed long necks NOT to compete for food but to win mates. Simmons was studying eagles in Sabi Sand Reserve in South Africa when he happened to come upon a pair of male giraffes fighting. Male giraffes battle for mates by swinging their powerful necks--which can be over 2 meters long and weigh more than 90kgs. The momentum allows them to slam their heads into the the other giraffe with vertebrae-shattering--and occasionally lethal--force. In these contests, males with the longest, thickest necks usually win. As the scientist watched the fight, he became convinced that this competition for mates, not stretching for treetop food, was what drove the evolution of the neck. Giraffes feed mostly with their necks bent, along low bushes. Moreover, their short, stubby horns probably evolved to better concentrate the force of their head blows.
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by engcafe | 2008-09-13 11:08 | Let's talk!  

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