Giraffes are more alien-like than African animals, with their long necks and strange tongues. We have 15 amazing facts about giraffes. These include how they inspired space travel, why males may get headaches, and why a baby giraffe lands with a bump.
After four years, giraffes reach their full height and gain weight until age seven or eight. Females can weigh as much as 1,180 kg (2.600 pounds) while males can get 1,930 kg (4.250 pounds). The tail can be up to a meter long and has a long, black tuft at the end. There is also a shorter black mane.
Giraffes were initially been classified as one species, Giraffa Camelopardalis. Then, based on physical characteristics, they were divided into multiple subspecies. You may also be interested in other facts about Giraffes.
Cool Facts About Giraffes!
1 DIFFERENT GIRAFFE SPECIES
Scientists debated for a long time about the number of types of giraffes. They settled on four species. The most important fact about giraffes is that they all live in Africa, though in different areas. Northern giraffes call North Africa home. Southern giraffes wander around the South of Africa, while the other two species live in the East.
2 THEIR PATCHES TELL THEM APART
There is no one pattern for all giraffes. The species of giraffes that they are will have different patchwork coats. Masai giraffe has darker patches with more brown lines. The Reticulated Giraffe is distinguished by its brown-orange spots separated by thick, white lines. The Northern and Southern giraffes’ patches look more like paint splodges. This live cam shows giraffes moving around. Can you identify which species they are? Sometimes they hide – come back later to see if they are there!
3 They are OFFICIALLY the tallest ANIMAL
Giraffes are one of the tallest land animals on Earth. (For more information about other planets in the solar system, visit our fantastic planet’s activities page. Fully grown giraffes can reach 4.3 to 5.7 meters in height. This is more than three men standing on their shoulders. Although baby giraffes may look small compared to their mothers, they are as tall as an average man when they are born.
4 LONG GIRAFFE NECKS EXCELLENT LOOKOUTS
What does the habitat of a giraffe have to do with its neck? Their long necks are used to keep an eye out for predators. They can see predators more quickly because their eyes are higher than normal. Giraffes are better off on flat ground as predators can hide in dense forests.
5 GIRAFFES ARE GREEDY GUZZLERS
Giraffes spend their day eating and can consume up to 45kg of leaves and other twigs per day. They also enjoy grass and fruit. Giraffes can reach delicious treats such as fresh green leaves from tall trees because of their long necks.
6 THEY DON’T DRINK A LOT
Giraffe necks can’t reach the ground, so they bend awkwardly to reach for the water. Giraffes are easy prey for predators because they drink too much. Because they get most of their water through their leafy food, giraffes only need to drink a few times per day.
7 A GIRAFFE USES HIS HEAD FOR FIGHTING
Bull giraffes are male giraffes that swing their long necks and buttheads to determine who is stronger. This is called “necking,” and most giraffes aren’t hurt while doing it. One male eventually gives up and walks away, most likely to eat.
8 They’re fast and dangerous
Giraffes are a great example of how tall and fast you can be! They can reach speeds up to 60km/h when travelling short distances. Attention predators! The kicks of giraffes are strong, and their hooves can be as big as dinner plates.
9 GIRAFFE HORNS ARE NOT REAL HORNS
Giraffe faces are quite funny with their large eyes, long eyelashes, and two tufty little hairs. Both male and female Giraffes have two eyes. Although they look like giraffe ears, these are covered in cartilage. The ossicones of females are smaller and have cute fluffy hairs. Due to wear and tear from giraffe fighting, male giraffes have thicker Ossicones.
10 GIRAFFE TONGUES ARE NOT PINK
Can you guess the colour of a Giraffe’s tongue? It’s dark blue! It’s dark blue! Giraffes tend to stick their tongues out when they are grazing. A pink tongue could get sunburnt. Protective properties of the African sun are better for those with darker colours.
11 GIRAFFE TONGUES ARE LIKE FINGERS
The tongue of a giraffe is approximately 45-50cm long. It’s also “prehensile,” which means that it can twist and grasp things. This is very helpful when you are trying to separate thorny leaves from delicious leaves. Mouth armour is also a feature of giraffes! To protect their mouth from sharp thorns, they have rugged, finger-like protection in the form of papillae.
12 THEY HAVE HUGE HEARTS
The giraffe’s heart is 11 kg and the most enormous land animal heart. The giraffe needs extra power to pump 60 litres of blood around its body and up the long neck.
13 A GIRAFFE BABY IS TOUGH
Giraffes give birth while standing up, and the baby falls almost 2 meters to the floor. To protect the mother, its ossicones are placed flat against its head during birth. The calf remains with its mother for one and a half years. You can make your giraffe babies with our salt dough activity.
14 BABY GIRAFFES HELPED SPACE TRAVEL
Spacenauts face a problem. Their leg veins become weaker due to weightlessness. This is because their heart doesn’t have to pump as much blood. A baby giraffe’s legs quickly expand with blood when it is born. It goes from floating in its mum’s tum to walking on “land” legs within a matter of minutes. NASA used blood vessels from giraffe legs to design its spacesuits. They didn’t pay tribute to the Giraffes by using a Giraffe print on their suits.
Hope you liked these facts about giraffes!!!
Our help is needed for the Giraffes! Their numbers have declined by 30% in the past 30 years. Hunting and habitat loss pose grave threats to the remaining herds. Their homes are converted into farms, and the trees they eat are cut down.
Also read, 25 Facts About Guinea Pigs!!!