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20 Fun & Interesting Facts about Giraffes

Updated on May 25, 2012

Here, are some fascinating giraffe facts that you may not have known...

1. The giraffe is the one of the most recognized creatures in the world. It is easily identifiable by its long neck. It is usually a yellow/blond color with large brown or black spots covering its body.

2. A male giraffe is called a bull, a female giraffe is called a cow, and a baby giraffe a calf. When they gather together in a group they are called a herd.

3. In ancient roman times, there were a lot of things that could not be explained by rational thought of the time. So, they would make up stories and legends that would explain the oddities they encountered. The giraffe was considered a cross breed between a leopard and a camel to the ancient Romans. So, when scientist official named giraffes it became the Giraffa camelopardalis.

4. There are 3 specie groups of giraffe. They are all mostly centrally located in the kingdom of Kenya, Africa. The most common giraffe is the Masai. There is also the Reticulated Giraffe and the Rothschild giraffe. The last two types of giraffe are considered endangered.

5. Kenya, Africa is home to the world’s largest giraffe population. They have nearly one third of all the giraffes on the planet due to the highly compatible environment. There are roughly 140,000 giraffes on the planet.

6. The giraffe has a much higher blood pressure than any other mammal in the world. Its heart has to pump blood up its massive neck so that it can function properly. This has resulted in the having 2 times the normal pressure of most mammals.

7. The giraffe has the biggest heart in the animal kingdom. A giraffe heart measures about 2 feet wide and weighs an astounding 30 pounds.

8. When you see a herd of giraffe it is most likely going to be made up of females. The males of the species tend to roam in solitude.

9. Giraffes only give birth 1-2 times in their lifetime. They give birth standing up and have a gestation period of 12 – 15 months.

10. The giraffe has the ability to eat more than 150 pounds of food on a daily basis. Its most favored food is the Acacia leaves.

11. When lying down, giraffes are very vulnerable to an attack by a wild animal. So they tend to be extremely light sleepers. They only average 20 min to 2 hours of sleep a day.

12. One of the most unusual aspects of a giraffe is that they grow horns. The horns are always larger on the mails because they use them to fight over females.

13. Even though giraffe are tall they can run up to 34 mph when at full gallop. They cannot keep the speed up for long, but it has been proven to sway animals from bothering them.

14. Gir can live up to 25 years or more in the wild. Currently the oldest living giraffe is in the San Diego zoo named Betsy she is almost 40 years old.

15. Giraffes have a love of apples. They find them completely irresistible after their first taste.

16. When lying down, giraffes are very vulnerable to an attack by a wild animal. So they tend to be extremely light sleepers. They only average 20 min to 2 hours of sleep a day.

17. One of the most unusual aspects of a giraffe is that they grow horns. The horns are always larger on the mails because they use them to fight over females.

18. Even though giraffe are tall they can run up to 34 mph when at full gallop. They cannot keep the speed up for long, but it has been proven to sway animals from bothering them.

19. Gir can live up to 25 years or more in the wild. Currently the oldest living giraffe is in the San Diego zoo named Betsy she is almost 40 years old.

20. Giraffes have a love of apples. They find them completely irresistible after their first taste.

Comments

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  • Shaddie profile image

    Shaddie 

    6 years ago from Washington state

    Giraffe hearts may be the largest among land mammals, but whales, particularly the blue whale, possess the largest hearts in the world.

    I think a more interesting fact, in place of that one, my be that giraffes possess 7 cervical vertebrae (neck bones), which is the same number as us humans. Very cool!!

  • Esmeowl12 profile image

    Cindy A Johnson 

    6 years ago from Sevierville, TN

    Very interesting facts about giraffes. One of my favorite animals. Check your capsules. I think a couple are doubled. Voted up.

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