Text from Photo Gallery Pages:
Giraffes are the tallest living animal
on earth. Born at five and a half feet, they grow to a majestic eighteen feet.
Giraffes do not
get up quickly from a sitting position. They 'lumber up' to their feet, using the
weight of their neck to keep their balance.
An adult giraffe's neck is about six feet
long (1.8M) and very muscular. The neck is made up of 7 bones just like a human's
neck, but the giraffe's neck bones are much larger.
Reticulated giraffes are one of the
several subspecies of giraffes. Their markings look like a light colored netting
laid over a brown body.
Sometimes zoos loan their giraffes
to keep the captive giraffe population more diverse. For instance, an adult male
giraffe might go to live at a different zoo for a year to mate with one of the resident
Busch Gardens 2
The blood vessels
in a giraffe's neck have special valves inside them that help move the blood up
the neck all the way to the head. The valves also keep the blood from rushing to
the head when a giraffe leans its head down.
- The giraffe is the tallest animal on earth, growing to 18+ feet
- The blue whale is the largest animal, weighing up to 150 tons
- The cheetah is the fastest animal, sprinting at 65 mph
- The tortoise is the longest lived animal, living 150 years
Beauty -- the adjustment of all parts
proportionately so that one cannot add or subtract without impairing the harmony
of the whole. -- Leon Battista Alberti
Tyler, TX Zoo
In warmer climates like
that of Texas, giraffes living in zoos do not have to stay in heated giraffe houses
through the winter months.
Giraffes are native to
the savannas of Africa. These tree-dotted plains are also home to other mammals,
such as wildebeest, elephants and gazelles. Giraffes can see long distances due
in part to their height. They can see predators before the other animals and may
convey an early warning through their actions.
Masai giraffes are one of the several subspecies of giraffes. Their
spots have irregular edges unlike the Reticulated subspecies.
Mother and Baby
Newborn giraffes can stand
within minutes of birth, but spend many months alongside their mother for guidance
and protection. Sometimes a young calf will also go with another adult female of
diet in its natural habitat consists largely of acacia leaves. A full-grown male
giraffe can consume 72 pounds (32 kilograms) of leaves a day. The leaves are nutritrious
and have a high water content. Often the giraffe will not need additional water.
Giraffes in captivity
do not enjoy a vast savannah on which to roam. Nor do they hunt for food or have
Every giraffe has unique
markings - like human fingerprints. Notice the variation on the necks of these two
The giraffe has large
lungs for the size of his body. Strong lungs are necessary to pump air up and down
the giraffe's six foot windpipe.
This giraffe lives in its natural habitat on the savannas of Africa. Notice
the acacia tree in the background. The acacia leaves make up the largest part of
a giraffe's diet and supply both food and water.
Indianapolis, IN is my home town. One section in our zoo is
called African Plains. The African animals have large open areas in which to roam.
The people can view the animals from raised wooden walkways and from the zoo train
which encircles the grounds.
Mother & Baby
In the wild, young giraffe calves are more at risk for attack by lions than
are adults. Although calves stay near their mothers for the first few months, the
lion waits patiently until he sees the mother move away or become distracted.
This is a photo of a brand new giraffe
born at the Indianapolis Zoo in 1998.
Male and female giraffes are alike
except that males are larger and more muscular. Male giraffes grow to 17 feet tall
and 3000 pounds. Females only reach 14 feet and 2500 pounds.
I saw this young giraffe leaning over
with his legs splayed to eat the grass at my local zoo. He didn't seem to mind all
the people staring at him and oohing and ahhing.
Young Giraffe X2
Young giraffes are so lovable. Born at a height of 5'6"
they are a lot closer to a human's size.
A giraffe's coloring and markings make
good camouflage against trees and grass.
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