2Discription Giraffes are one of the world's tallest mammals. They are well known for their long necks, long legs, and spotted patterns.Giraffes have small "horns" or knobs on top of their heads that grow to be about five inches long. These knobs are used to protect the head in fights.
3Size Male giraffes are larger than females. Males weigh between 2,400 and 3,000 pounds and stand up to 19 feet tall!Female giraffes weigh between 1,600 and 2,600 pounds and grow to be 16 feet tall.
4HabitatGiraffes live in the savannas of Africa, where they roam freely among the tall trees, arid land, dense forests and open plains.
6FoodTheir long necks help giraffes eat leaves from tall trees, typically acacia trees. If they need to, giraffes can go for several days without water. Instead of drinking, giraffes stay hydrated by the moisture from leaves.
7BehaviorGiraffes are non-territorial, social animals. They travel in large herds that are not organized in any way. Herds may consist of any combination of sexes or ages.
8OffspringFemale giraffes typically give birth to one calf after a fifteen-month gestation period. During the first week of its life, the mother carefully guards her calf. Young giraffes are very vulnerable and cannot defend themselves. While mothers feed, the young are kept in small nursery groups.
9Newborn A newborn giraffe is about 1.8 m (6 ft) tall. Within a few hours of birth, the calf can run around and is almost indistinguishable from a one-week-old. However, for the first 1–3 weeks, it spends most of its time hiding; its coat pattern providing camouflage. The ossicones, which have lain flat while it was in the womb, become erect within a few days
10ThreatsGiraffes are hunted for their meat, coat and tails. The tail is prized for good luck bracelets, fly whisks and string for sewing beads. The coat is used for shield coverings. Habitat destruction and fragmentation are also threats to giraffe populations.There are no protective laws for giraffes
11NeckingMale giraffes use their necks as weapons in combat, a behavior known as "necking“Necking is used to establish dominance and males that win necking bouts have greater reproductive success
15Giraffes are ruminants. This means that they have more than one stomach. In fact, giraffes have four stomachs, the extra stomachs assisting with digesting food.
16The hair that makes up a giraffes tail is about 10 times thicker than the average strand of human hair.
17MalefemaleIt is possible to identify the sex of the giraffe from the horns on its head. Both males and females have horns but the females are smaller and covered with hair at the top. Male giraffes may have up to 3 additional horns.
18Because giraffes are built the way they are, drinking can pose serious problems for them. To get to water, they need to spread their front legs and crane their neck down at an awkward angle, a position that leaves them clumsy and vulnerable to predators such as crocodiles.
19Giraffes have extremely elastic blood vessels in their neck to help them lean their heads down to drink. It's a good thing they do or they would lose consciousness each time they tried to get water from a stream.