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The tallest animals in the world, giraffes are native to the continent of Africa. Did you know that in ancient times, giraffes were called Camelopards? This is because giraffes look like camels due to their long legs and necks, but have the colour pattern of leopards. Let us find out some more interesting things that we can learn about giraffes.
Facts About Giraffe for Children
Below are some facts about giraffes that describe how unique and interesting they are.
1. Where are giraffes found?
As already mentioned, giraffes are found in Africa. In fact, there are various types of giraffes that are spread across the continent. Different types of giraffes are found in different locations in Africa. Countries where giraffes are found, include Chad, Sudan, Niger, South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania. They prefer hot and dry climates, but during this time they have to live near trees. However, during the wet or rainy season, giraffes are found all over the place. The specific conditions that animals live in are known as its habitat. If you are teaching about giraffe habitats to kids, you can tell them that they live in savannas, grasslands and open woodlands. Giraffes often live in open forests as well.
2. What do giraffes eat and drink?
Giraffes usually obtain their food by roaming around their habitats. They prefer the shoots and leaves of the Acacia tree, but they consume other types of plants as well. They generally eat leaves, vines, herbs and other soft vegetable matter. Even though many people believe this fact, giraffes don’t like to eat grass.
Giraffes spend most of their time looking for food and eating it. Giraffes drink water sparingly. They only drink once in a few days, which means they don’t have to live near water bodies like ponds and lakes. In fact, giraffe’s can go three weeks without drinking water, while camels can only go for two weeks!
Giraffes belong to the same family as cows and deer, which makes them part of the ruminant family. Ruminants are animals who chew their food, swallow it, digest it partially, then bring it back to their mouths for more chewing.
3. How do they look?
An adult giraffe is around five to six meters in height, that is sixteen to twenty feet. This means they are as tall as an electricity pole, making them the tallest animal on earth. Male giraffes weigh around 1,300 kg while female giraffes weight around 830 kg.
The coat of a giraffe is a pattern made out of brown patches with yellow or orange hair in between. This helps them stay disguised in the grassy areas of their habitats. The fur of the giraffe has many chemicals that help them fight parasites and infections.
Why do giraffes have long necks? The neck of a giraffe is often more than two meters long. This is because having a long neck helps them reach food in tall trees. Giraffes also have two small horns on their heads, which are called ossicones.
Endangered Giraffe Species
Endangered species means animals which are in danger of dying out. Some types of giraffes, like the Rothschild’s giraffe and the West African giraffe, are endangered.
Other Fun Facts About Giraffe
Here are some other fun bits of giraffe information for kids:
- Giraffes have been living on this planet for more than thirty million years.
- A giraffe’s tongue is very long, at nearly two feet in length. This allows it to clean its ears with its tongue.
- A giraffe’s heart is very large, at least ten kg in weight and around two feet in length.
- A giraffe can kick with such great force that they can kill lions. This is the method it uses to protect itself from attacks from predators.
- Giraffes’ brown spots get darker as they age. If a giraffe’s spots are darker, it means they are older than other giraffes.
- Giraffe’s do not require much sleep. They sleep less than thirty minutes a day, and in a standing position!
- A newborn giraffe can be nearly six feet in height, and weight more than seventy kg. This is bigger than a full grown adult human being.
- Giraffes run at a speed of 60 km per hour, making them faster than horses who can only run at 50 km per hour.
- All giraffes have a different pattern of spots on their body, meaning no two giraffes are the same. This means every giraffe can be recognized by its appearance very easily by other giraffes.
- Giraffes usually sleep while they are in a standing position.
- A baby giraffe can stand up and walk as soon as it is born.
- Earlier people believed that giraffes never made any sounds, but now we know that they make many different kinds of sounds that human ears are unable to pick up.
- Giraffes have several predators in their habitats, that is lions, hyenas, wild dogs, leopards and crocodiles.
- Male giraffes use the horns on their head, called ossicones, to fight with other male giraffes.
- Giraffes only eat plant food, making them herbivores.
- Giraffes can eat more than forty kg of food every single day!
- Giraffes live in groups of fifteen members, which are known as towers. Towers are led by one adult male.
- Since giraffes drink very little water, they get most of their water from the plants and shoots they eat.
- Giraffes have large eyes with excellent colour vision, which allows them to see any predators before being attacked.
- The legs of giraffes are taller than most humans, at around seven feet tall.
- Giraffes live for around twenty-five years in the wild. Interestingly, they have been known to live longer in captivity, reaching forty years of age.
Giraffes are beautiful animals with many unique characteristics. In addition to being the tallest mammal, they are also faster than horses. However, the number of giraffes has been reducing for the past twenty years. There were around 140,000 giraffes in the world in 2000, but now that number is around 80,000.
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