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Giraffe

Posted in Mammals

The giraffe is the tallest living animal on earth!  It is a hooved mammal with very long legs and an amazingly long neck.  It also has two horns on its head.

 

 

It has a unique pattern on its coat.  Giraffe coat colors vary from light tan to dark brown. Giraffe coat colors vary from light tan to dark brown, depending on what they eat and where they live. The markings on each giraffe’s coat are unique and as individual as human fingerprints!

 

Fully grown giraffes stand 15-20 feet tall and can weigh from 2,000 to 3,500 pounds.  Their legs alone are taller than most humans… over six feet tall.  Even newborn giraffes are taller than most humans, reaching six feet at birth and weighing over 220 pounds.

 

Where-do-they-live

Giraffes live in the savannas of Africa.  They roam freely among the semi-arid grasslands, woodlands, dense forests and open plains.  

 
What-do-they-eat

Giraffes only eat plants.   Because of their height, giraffes can reach leaves that are much higher than other animals can reach.  They typically forage on acacia and mimosa trees and can eat hundreds of pounds of leaves per week.

What-are-their-predators

A giraffe’s main predator is the lion.  Healthy adult giraffes are too large for a lion to take down, so the lion attacks the younger, smaller giraffes.  They also occasionally fall prey to leopards, hyenas, cheetahs and crocodiles.

 

 

What-are-their-defenses

One of the best ways the giraffe avoids becoming someone’s dinner, aside from its size, is its ability to blend into its environment.  Because of its splotched pattern, it is well camouflaged as it forages among the trees.  The giraffe’s most powerful defensive mechanism, though, is a powerful kick that it gives with its front feet.  The force of that kick is strong enough to kill a lion. 

 

 

Danger-scale

Giraffes are very gentle, non-aggressive animals.  As long as a human doesn’t make the giraffe feel threatened, they pose very little danger.  On the other hand, when threatened, one kick of the powerful front legs could do serious damage to a human. 

 

 

My-favorite-thing

about giraffes are their very long necks!  Male giraffes even fight with their necks like swords.

 

Can-you-believe

a giraffe’s tongue is almost two feet long?  That’s really long for a tongue!

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