Anybody who have studied biology in any phase in his life will definitely have a special feeling for “The Giraffes”. The theory of evolution was first made on trying to describe the uniqueness of the neck of giraffe. Though the long neck is the characteristic feature of giraffe, there are so many other unique features of this animal which are not well known. This blog will bring out some of them to you which will be fascinating to know.
Scientific name of Giraffe is Giraffa camelopardalis.
It was initially believe to be a hybrid of a camel and a leopard and thus got the species name of cameleopardalis
Giraffe is the tallest living terrestrial (on the land) animal. It is 5-6 meter tall and an average weight of a male giraffe can reach up to 1600 kgs. They are native to savannas, woodlands and grasslands of Africa. They are herbivorous i.e, eat plants only.
Scientific name of Giraffe is Giraffa camelopardalis
Giraffe is a ruminant i.e, they first chew the food, then swallow it for bacterial processing and then back into mouth to chew it again. The can eat up to 34 kgs of foliage daily. They can drink up to 10 gallons of water per day.
They are known to be non vocal.
Giraffes can run pretty quickly. Though not any where near to the fastest animal, the Cheetah but they can reach a speed of 60 km/hr. But unlike cheetahs they can maintain 50km/hr for several kilometers. Giraffe spends only 2 hours in an average to sleep. This is the least sleep requirement for any animal in animal kingdom.
The fore legs are 10% more longer than hind legs. The tail of a giraffe is 8 feet long. It is the longest in any animal.
The neck of a giraffe is 2 meter in length and it is a form of disproportionate lengthening of the cervical vertebrae. Male giraffes use their neck in the combat.
The heart of a giraffe is about 2 feet long and weights almost 20 lbs. it maintains a blood pressure that is approximately double of the human blood pressure. The lever is small and compact and gallbladder is absent.
The tongue of an adult giraffe is black in color and almost 2 feet long. This is useful not only for grasping foliage but also in cleaning its nose.
The coat of a giraffe has color patches. It darkens as the giraffe ages. We can calculate the age of a giraffe by the color of the spots in its body. Like fingerprints in humans, the spots of every giraffe is unique. This pattern help them to camouflage in the woodland.
Male and female giraffe both have prominent horn like structures which is called ossicones. Though the female ossicones are thinner compared to the males.
Giraffe has a gestation period of 400-600 days after which gave birth to a 1.8 meter tall newborn. A giraffe can leave up to 25 years.
Giraffes are common target for hunters Africa. Though Giraffes have been eradicated from many African countries, the giraffe species as a whole is not included in endangered category by IUCN.
Thanks for reading. A lot more to come so stay tuned.
Giraffes really are the prime examples of evolution in practice aren't they? Thanks for including these awesome facts!