Giraffe - The long-necked gourmet of the savanna

Giraffa camelopardalis Giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) certainly are among the most conspiciuous animals of the African savannas. Their size and their long necks are extraordinary. The head of an adult Giraffe is about six metres above the ground; Giraffes are the highest animals living nowadays. But like all other mammals Giraffes have got only seven cervical vertebras. The long neck is a result of the fact that each cervical vertebra is extremely lengthened. Giraffes wear two to six short and blunt horns on their heads. These horns consist of bone tissue and are almost completely covered with skin and fur. The Giraffes's fore legs are longer than the hind legs. So the relatively short body slopes away. Like bovines and antilopes Giraffes are even-toed ungulates (artiodactyla). The common Giraffe, as we know it, is also called "Steppe-Giraffe" to seperate it from the closely related, short-necked Okapi (Okapia johnstoni), which is also known as "Forest-Giraffe". Although all (Steppe-) Giraffes are regarded as members of one single species nowadays, there are a lot of differences, especially concerning the markings of the fur. The species is divided into eight subspecies, but also the members of a certain subspecies differ individually in their fur markings; no Giraffe is alike another one. The markings of the fur are like fingerprints among Giraffes.

Which zoos have them?
Dublin Zoo (Ireland)

The Giraffe is listed as Conservation Dependent (LR/cd), the focus of a continuing taxon-specific or habitat-specific conservation programme targeted towards the taxon in question, the cessation of which would result in the taxon qualifying for one of the threatened categories below within a period of five years, on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

Namings for the giraffe
A young / baby of a giraffe is called a 'calf'. The females are called 'cow' and males 'bull'. A giraffe group is called a 'tower, corps, herd or journey'.
Some facts about the

Adult weight : 800 kg (1760 lbs)

Maximum longevity : 40 years

Female maturity :1278 days

Male maturity : 1644 days

Gestation : 457 days

Weaning : 152 days

Litter size : 1

Litters per year : 1

Interval between litters : 620 days

Weight at birth : 58.5 kg (128.7 lbs)

Source: AnAge, licensed under CC

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