Giraffes are the Tallest of All Land Animals
It may not surprise you to know that giraffes are the tallest of all land animals, but how tall exactly? Adult male giraffes (bulls) may exceed 5.5 meters (18 feet) in height, and the tallest females (cows) are about 4.5 meters (15 feet). If you’re curious to know more about this long-necked beast, you’ve come to the right place! Check out these interesting facts about giraffes below.
What do giraffes eat?
Giraffes have very few natural predators, with lions and hyenas being their only significant predators. However, they will not hesitate to defend themselves against any threat. There is a popular misconception that giraffes fear no creature; however, they appear to be afraid of dogs (possibly due to their experience as prey) and also flee from them in a panic if surprised or cornered. It is for this reason that a fence must surround an enclosed area used for keeping giraffes within a certain area such as a zoo or game reserve to prevent them from coming into contact with feral dogs that may attack them out of instinct.
How tall can giraffes get?
Giraffes may reach a height of over 5.5 meters, which is taller than any other mammal in history! Although they stand on just two legs, giraffes appear to be very close to four-legged creatures. They’ve been known to live for approximately 25 years and during that time, they can grow to have a height of almost 5.9 meters (or 19 feet). This means their lifespan exceeds that of some animals who have more than four legs. For example, elephants only live an average of 50 years while some tortoises and turtles can live upwards of 100 years old or more!
Where do giraffes live?
Giraffes live in sub-Saharan Africa, in scattered patches across southern and eastern Africa. Most giraffe species prefer savanna, grassland, and open woodland habitats, although some live in more mountainous areas. Giraffes have adapted to a wide range of environments, from deserts to mountains.
They eat a variety of vegetation; their diet includes leaves, shoots, flowers, and bark as well as lichens and fungi. Depending on where they live, giraffes may travel long distances each day to feed on enough food to survive. Some populations migrate over distances as great as 160 kilometers (100 miles) between seasonal ranges or during times when food is scarce; other populations remain in one area year-round and subsist on less-varied diets than those that migrate.
How many species of giraffe are there?
Giraffes were once classified as one species by taxonomists, but over recent decades zoologists have increasingly become convinced that giraffes belong to multiple species. The main reason for scientists’ growing belief in multiple giraffe species is genetic. Modern scientific techniques allow researchers to understand subtle genetic differences among individuals, and these differences can help them determine whether groups should be categorized as separate species. One genetic analysis suggested that there are four distinct species of the giraffe: northern giraffe ( Giraffa camelopardalis ), southern giraffe ( G. reticulata ), Masai giraffe ( G. tippelskirchi ).
Giraffes have a long life span for their size. In captivity, they can live up to 25 years; in their natural habitat, however, they live up to 15 years. This is because giraffes are vulnerable to many predators including lions and hyenas. They also frequently fall victim to dehydration, starvation, and bacterial infections. Giraffe calves do not develop their full height until two or three years old; females reach sexual maturity between four and six years old, while males reach it from five to seven years old. However, these stats were based on observations of captive giraffes living in zoos and may differ from those living freely in the wild.
Other Fun Facts About Giraffes
The male giraffe can be 15 feet tall and weigh over 2,000 pounds. The females (called cows) are smaller than males (called bulls), weighing in at around 1,500 pounds. A baby giraffe is about 6 feet tall when it’s born, with long legs and a short tail to make it easier for his mother to reach his mouth with her tongue to feed him. During all-night lows, they’ll sleep in trees.
They live together in herds consisting of as many as 150 individuals who often come together at salt licks and ponds for water, grooming, and socializing. Giraffes don’t have hooves but rather padded feet that act like suction cups so they can walk on soft sand without sinking into it. Their spots act as camouflage; observers are less likely to pick out a singular spot in an otherwise plain landscape and focus their attention on it.