20 December 2010

Did you know that ... the tongue of a giraffe can be as long as 45cm?

Giraffes are the tallest land animals. They are approximately 4.3m to 5.2m tall, although the tallest male recorded stood almost 6m. Their neck is in average about 1,8m long and weights close to 300kg. Despite its long neck, the giraffe has only seven vertebrae, exactly the same number as man and most other mammals.
A giraffe's legs are usually around 1.8m long. These long legs allow the animals to run as fast as 60km/hrs over short distances and  at around 15km/hrs over longer distances.

Each giraffe has a unique coat pattern.
Giraffes use their height to browse on mainly leaves in treetops that few other animals can reach. Their favorite leaves are from the acacia tree. Acacia trees have long thorns that keep most animals from eating the leaves. But those thorns don't stop the giraffes! They simply use their 45cm tongues to reach around the thorns. An adult giraffe can eat approximately 30kg of leaves and twigs daily, but can survive on just 7kg.
The average weight for an adult male giraffe is 1,200kg while the average weight for an adult female is 830kg.
Wild giraffes have a lifespan close to 13 years while those in captivity live up to 25 years. Female giraffes give birth standing up, so that their young are falling more than 1.5m to the ground at birth. These infants can stand in about half an hour and run with their mothers an incredible ten hours after birth.

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