Where do giraffes live?
They have adapted to a variety of habitats and can be found in desert landscapes to woodland and savanna environments south of the Sahara, wherever trees occur.
Tags: Giraffe, Botswana, Cameroon, DRC, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kazungula, Maasai Steppe, Regional Parc W, Samburu, East Africa, Southern Africa
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What are giraffes?
They are the world’s tallest mammals. They are uniquely adapted to reach vegetation inaccessible to other herbivores. Unusually elastic blood vessels and uniquely adapted valves help offset the sudden buildup of blood (to prevent fainting) when giraffes’ heads are raised, lowered, or swung quickly. Their "horns" are actually knobs covered with skin and hair above the eyes that protect the head from injury. Their necks contain the same amount of vertebrae as we do (seven) except their bones are extremely elongated making their neck a long length of 2.4 meters.
Giraffes are extremely picky eaters.
They feed 16 to 20 hours a day, but may only consume about 30 kilograms (about 30 pounds) of foliage during that time. These two ton mammals can survive on as little as seven kilograms (15 pounds) of foliage per day. While these browsers’ diverse diets have been reported to contain up to 93 different plant species, acacia trees have been found to be their favorite food source.
They are not heavy drinkers.
Giraffes drink water when it is available. They don’t need to drink water on a daily basis, which allows them to survive in areas with scarce water.
Young giraffes are self-sufficient but vulnerable.
Calves are about two meters tall and grow rapidly as much as two and half centimeters a day. By two months the young giraffe is eating leaves and at six months is fairly independent of its mother. A young giraffe can even survive early weaning at two or three months. Although few predators attack adult giraffes, lions, hyenas, and leopards take their toll on the young. Scientists report that only one quarter of infants survive to adulthood due to the high rates of predation.