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THE AMAZING GIRAFFE: TALLEST ANIMAL IN THE WORLD
First Arrival/Some Facts:
The giraffe was first brought to Rome around 46 b.c. They were thought to be some sort of combination of a camel (because of its height) and a leopard (due to its spots). So, it was given the name, camelopardalis. Honored by many who are artistic and utilized often in Egyptian art. They are naturally found in Africa.
Giraffes are not very loud animals, however, they do make the following sounds: bleat/meow, make alarm snorts, roar/whistle, snoring/hissing and sounds similar to a flute.
Each coat of the giraffe is different, like the fingerprints of people. The darker their spots, the older the giraffe. They can live up to twenty-five years. The gestation period of a giraffe is about fifteen months. Calves (babies), fall approximately four-five feet to the ground when they are born. They usually stand within the hour and are running with mom approximately ten hours later. They congregate in creches (nursery groups) to play and to rest. And they are born with horns.
Giraffes eat about seventy-five pounds (sometimes more) of food per day, mostly green leaves and preferrably from the acacia tree. And they spend approximately twenty hours per day feeding. Their jaws move up and down and from side to side. It is not necessary for them to drink water everyday because the leaves they consume help them stay hydrated. This helps for their survival as when they drink water (they can drink ten-twelve gallons at a time), they must splay their front legs and bend their long necks down which makes them easier prey for their enemies. Their excellent eyesight is also good for this purpose as well. It's also necessary for them to keep their heads up so they won't faint from blood rushing and cause them to choke. The blood vessels in their necks contain one way valves which prevent them from choking and, they have seven vertebrae, the same as humans.
The tallest animal on land (approximately sixteen to nineteen feet in height), it weighs about two to four-thousand pounds. Their tongues are black and are about eighteen to twenty-seven inches long. The knobs on their heads are called ossicones. Including the tuft, their tails are the longest of any land animal. Their heart rate is about one-hundred seventy beats per minute, pumping approximately sixteen gallons of blood per minute!
They are not known to bathe; tick birds, known as Oxpeckers clean parasites away from the giraffe by attaching themselves to the giraffe and eating the parasites. Although they have no tear ducts, they have been known to cry. Due to their naturally high level of blood pressure 280/180mm, they cannot run for long periods of time or they will end up having a heart attack. Each step they take is usually fifteen feet in length and they can run up to thirty-seven miles per hour.
In order that they not compete with each other for food, the male (bulls) and female (cows) giraffes feed from different parts of the acacia tree. With each other, they usually battle with the butting of their heads and necks. It usually ends when one of them walks away. This type of battle is also done when a male giraffe claims dominance. However, giraffes are usually very social and peaceful animals; but one kick from those hooved, six feet long legs of theirs, they can crush the skull of a lion!