Sunny Side Up

Gratitude & Happiness

Gorgeous Gallopers!

on April 8, 2015

Gis for Giraffes.

My mother’s favourite animal was the giraffe. It’s one of mine too. I think that perhaps the members of our family, lacking in the height gene, have a bit of ‘longitudinal envy.’ Giraffes have those beautiful, unique patterns that just tempt you to run your fingers along all those squiggly lines, like finding your way through a maze. Also, who can resist those beautiful, gentle, doe – like eyes? They stare at you as the animal gracefully bends its long neck down to meet you halfway in greeting. Giraffes are one of the many gorgeous and unique creatures that wander our planet, and loving them, I thought I would share what else I find fascinating about them.

Did you know?

  • A giraffe is taller than you or I at 3.8 to 5.5 m (12.4 – 18 feet,) but is still shorter than a school bus at 11. 2 meters (37 feet.)
  • Fingerprints versus splotches. Each of the nine subspecies of giraffe has a different pattern, but the individual within a group will have its own pattern for life.
  • Their tongue can measure up to 45 cm (17.7 inches, 1.4 feet, 0.44 meters) in length and is blue – black in colour. Ick! On the cooler side of things, the tongue is ‘prehensile’ allowing them to grasp and draw food into their mouths.
  • A gross way to heal – their saliva contains an antiseptic to heal any wounds that the thorns on the acacia tree might cause.
  • They must be hungry mammals! Giraffes have four chambered stomachs, which is probably why they are seen chewing their cud all the time.
  • It may look like a funny kind of tango – Males in groups will compete for the top spot in the hierarchy by ‘neck wrestling.
  • Good grief! Those poor mothers. (I have yet to have children of my own, and I can only imagine, being a woman, however, I do empathize.) The average gestation period is 457 days. A newborn weighs about 150 pounds (68 kilos.) Ouch! Birth takes place standing, so the calf has almost 2 meters (6.5 feet) to fall. Again, ouch! Luckily, they are able to stand 20 minutes after birth.
  • Would they ever try out for the animal olympics? Giraffes are good jumpers but cannot swim. They are able to run for long distances without tiring at speeds up to 56 km/h (34.7 miles.)
  •  They rest in standing, a few minutes at a time and sleep less than two hours a day. Wow! I bet they get a lot accomplished.
  • What does the giraffe say? We may wonder if they are just being shy and it may seem like they are not making any noises at all. Really, the sound they make is too low for us to hear. As a warning of danger, they make moaning or snorting noises and females will bellow to locate a calf.

Giraffe Face - Version 4Giraffe.

Scientific Name: Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirichi (Try saying that 3 times fast! :D)

Location: sub – Saharan Africa, (the Masai giraffe) Kenya and Tanzania.

Mammals.

Habitat: prefer dry, open savannas and open woodlands, avoiding the closed canopy forest.

Eat: Herbivore diet. Acacia, mimosa, and wild apricots.

Lifespan: 25 years.

Sources:

http://www.torontozoo.com/ExploreTheZoo/AnimalDetails.asp?pg=370

http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/animals/giraffe/

What sound does a giraffe make? – https://youtu.be/6VOF6vZ078M

 A fun video. Episode 111. Giraffes.  http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/videos/animals—pets/

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