Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis): The giraffe is an african mammal and also is the tallest living land animal.

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Kingdom: | AnimaliaPhylum: | ChordataClass: | MammaliaOrder: | ArtiodactylaFamily: | GiraffidaeGenus: | GiraffaSpecies: | camelopardalis

A study published in the clinical journal Current Biology in 2016 suggests that there are four types of giraffes. However, over there is only one varieties of giraffe right now recognized with nine subspecies.

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Size and Weight:

Giraffes room the tallest land animals. Female giraffes room up come 14 feet tall and also weigh up to 1,500 pounds. Meanwhile, males are up come 18 feet tall and can sweet 3,000 pounds. In ~ this height, a giraffe have the right to look right into a second-story window.

Their neck alone have the right to be 6 feet long, i beg your pardon is taller 보다 the mean man and can weigh as much as 600 pounds. A giraffe’s legs room also around 6 feet long, enabling them to run quickly. The record running rate of a giraffe is 34.7 miles per hour. A giraffe’s heart is 2 feet long and also weighs around 25 pounds. And also a giraffe’s lungs can hold 12 gallons the air. A giraffe’s eyes space the dimension of golf balls.

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Appearance:

Giraffes are well-known for your long, tall appearance. They have a tiny hump ~ above their ago like a camel and also have a spotted pattern comparable to that of a leopard. Since of the combination of these features, some people called the giraffe a “camel-leopard.” That’s where the giraffe’s species name “camelopardalis” come from.

These nine subspecies that giraffe vary in cloak patterns and also live in various parts of Africa. A giraffe’s coat shade can selection from light tan to virtually black, relying on what the giraffe eats and where that lives. Giraffe cloak colors vary from irradiate tan to almost black. Every giraffe’s markings space as individual as human fingerprints.

For example, the reticulated giraffe, found only in north Kenya, has a fark coat v a internet of narrow white lines, while the Masai giraffe, additionally found in Kenya, has a pattern that looks similar to oak leaves.

Giraffes have two horns ~ above the peak of your head dubbed ossicones. Both males and females have actually ossicones. Ossicones are covered in skin and also fur choose the rest of the giraffe’s body. Ossicones start as cartilage and also later fuse come the skull as the giraffe ages.

Diet:

Giraffes space herbivores, feasting on thousands of pounds of pipeline a week and also traveling miles in search of food. Your height offers them an benefit over various other African herbivores, together they deserve to reach the high branches because that young leaves. Your 18-inch tongue helps them reach several of the tougher leaves. The takes a lot to fuel together a large mammal, and also a giraffe may eat as much as 75 pounds the food per day. A giraffe will spend most of its work eating. Giraffes only need to drink as soon as every several days because they gain most of their water indigenous the luscious plants they eat.

Acacia trees host their favorite leaves. While these trees have long thorns, which prevent most pets from eating them, giraffes use their long tongues and also prehensile lips come reach roughly the thorns. The dark shade of their tongue is believed to stop sunburn while reaching for leaves. Giraffes have actually thick, sticky saliva, i m sorry coats any kind of thorns they might swallow.

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Habitat:

Giraffes have the right to be discovered in african savannas, grasslands and woodlands.

Geography:

Giraffes have the right to be discovered throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Lock are aboriginal to countless African countries, such as Kenya, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Uganda, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Angola, and also South Africa.

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Breeding:

The giraffe gestation period is around 14 months, and also an adult mrs giraffe commonly gives birth to one newborn, called a calf, in ~ a time. When a calf is born, it is born feet first, followed by the head, neck, and also shoulders. Woman giraffes offer birth was standing up, for this reason the young giraffe beginning its life through falling an ext than 5 feet come the ground. About an hour ~ birth, the calf can already start to was standing up and walk. In ~ a week, that starts come sample vegetation.

When a calf gets older, the mother leaves her youngster in addition to other calves in a “nursery.” one of the moms continues to be to babysit if the others go the end to eat and socialize. In the nursery, the calves construct physical and social an abilities through play. The young giraffes deserve to eat leaves at the age of 4 months, but continue to nurse till they are 6 to ripe months old. Giraffes hit sex-related maturity in between 3 and 5 years old.

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Social Structure:

Giraffes space social animals. Castle live in herds of around 10 to 20 individuals and they have the right to be as much as 50 members. Teams of giraffes are referred to as “towers.” Giraffes perform not have solid social ties favor other animal species, other than the mothers with their offspring. Each member the the herd can leave the group at will.

Aside native humans, crocodiles and lions are giraffe’s only predators. However, as result of their size, giraffes do not hide from this predators. They are able to defend themselves indigenous predators by staying in groups, together it renders it more an overwhelming for the predator. If they need to protect themselves, giraffes have actually a deadly, karate-style kick. Giraffes can also run very fast, approximately 35 mph, for brief distances.

Lifespan:

Giraffes commonly live between 15 and 20 years in the wild.

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Threats:

In countless African countries, giraffe populations are progressively decreasing. Habitat loss and also the overgrazing of sources by livestock are among the largest threats. The future the giraffes is mostly dependent on the quality of the habitat that remains. Another major threat is poaching. Giraffes are shot or snared for their meat, hide, bone marrow, and also tail hair.

Conservation Status:

Giraffes room classified as vulnerable on the IUCN’s Red List. Their populace size has actually been declining in current years.

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Conservation Efforts:

Conservation groups, consisting of San Diego Zoo Global, room working to protect giraffes. For example, san Diego Zoo an international supports a ar conservation effort in north Kenya that is finding ways for people and also wildlife to live together. In ~ the mountain Diego Zoo, over there is a giraffe-feeding patio wherein biscuits have the right to be purchased and also fed to the giraffes. V the revenue of this giraffe biscuits, lock are increasing money come fund neighborhood conservation initiatives that they support in Africa.

Earthday.org offers a list of means to assist protect giraffes:

Educate all world on how and also why to defend giraffesSupport sustainable farming and negotiation practices close to giraffe habitatsReforest an essential areas with acacia trees that provide giraffes’ key food sourceStop the poaching the giraffes for their tails, taken into consideration status symbolsSolve hunger in locations like Sudan whereby impoverished villagers eat giraffe meatReverse climate adjust that’s leading to rising temperatures and also widespread dryness in Africa

How You can Help:

Adopt a Giraffe: do a symbolic giraffe adoption with the world Wildlife foundation (WWF).

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Support giraffe conservation efforts, such as those with WWF and also the mountain Diego Zoo.