51 Fun Facts About Giraffes


A baby giraffe lying down in the dirt

Introduction:

Giraffe refers to one of several large, even-toed ungulate mammals with long necks and legs. The tallest living animal on Earth is the giraffe. Giraffes are native to Africa and live in woodlands and savannas. They are herbivores and eat leaves, flowers, and fruit from trees.

Facts:

A herd of zebra standing on top of a dirt field

1. The height of a giraffe can range from 14 to 19 feet.

2. Males are taller than females.

3. A newborn giraffe is about 6 feet tall.

4. Giraffes have very long necks which can be up to 8 feet long.

5. They also have very long legs which can be up to 6 feet long.

6. The tongue of a giraffe can be up to 18 inches long.

7. Giraffes are the tallest living animals on Earth.

8. They are native to Africa and live in woodlands and savannas.

9. Giraffes are herbivores and eat leaves, flowers, and fruit from trees.

10. The average lifespan of a giraffe is between 20 and 30 years.

11. The scientific name for a giraffe is Giraffa camelopardalis.

12. Camelopardalis comes from the Greek words for “camel” and “leopard”.

13. This refers to the fact that giraffes have some characteristics of both animals – they are as tall as a camel and have spots like a leopard.

14. There are 9 different subspecies of giraffes that vary slightly in appearance.

15. The most common subspecies is the Masai giraffe which is found in Kenya and Tanzania.

16. Giraffes are usually born singly, although twins have been recorded on rare occasions.

17. A newborn giraffe weighs about 150 pounds and is about 6 feet tall at birth.

18. Giraffes grow quickly and can be up to 14 feet tall and weigh 2,600 pounds by the time they are 3 years old.

19. Adult male giraffes are called bulls, while adult females are called cows.

20. Young giraffes are called calves.

A group of giraffe standing on top of a mountain

21. A group of giraffes is called a tower or a herd.

22. Male giraffes use their horns to fight with each other for dominance.

23. The horns are also used to attract females.

24. Female giraffes use their horns to defend themselves and their young from predators.

25. Giraffes are very social animals and live in groups of up to 40 individuals.

26. The size of the group depends on the availability of food and water.

27. Giraffes have a very keen sense of smell which they use to find food and water.

28. They also have a very good sense of hearing which helps them to detect predators.

29. Giraffes can run very fast and can reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour.

30. However, they are not able to sustain this speed for very long and can only run for short distances.

31. Giraffes are mostly silent but they can make sounds such as grunts, snorts, and coughs.

32. They also communicate by flicking their tongues and making various facial expressions.

33. Giraffes are very gentle animals but can be aggressive if they feel threatened.

34. The main predators of giraffes are lions, leopards, and hyenas.

35. However, humans are also a major threat to giraffes as they are hunted for their meat and skin.

36. There are thought to be around 80,000 giraffes left in the wild.

37. The population has declined by around 40% over the last three decades.

38. Giraffes are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

39. The main threats to giraffes are habitat loss, hunting, and conflict with humans.

40. Giraffes are found in Africa south of the Sahara desert.

41. The majority of giraffes live in Tanzania which is home to around 50% of the population.

42. Other countries where giraffes can be found include Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Cameroon, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Angola, and South Africa.

43. In many parts of Africa, giraffes are considered to be pests as they eat crops and compete with livestock for food and water.

44. They need areas where there are plenty of trees and bushes for them to eat.

45. Giraffes are very successful in adapting to different habitats and can even live in desert regions.

46. The habitat of giraffes is under threat from human activity such as agriculture, mining, and infrastructure development.

47. This is causing the loss of many trees and bushes which are essential for giraffes to survive.

48. Giraffes are also hunted by humans for their meat and skin.

49. In some parts of Africa, giraffe meat is considered a delicacy and is often sold in markets.

50. The skin of giraffes is used to make leather goods such as belts and wallets.

51. Giraffes are also killed by humans who view them as a threat to their livestock.

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