Giraffe Books For Kids
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One of the most popular exhibits at any zoo is the Giraffe that is because these large animals are a majestic vision to behold. Giraffes are the tallest land animals on earth; even their legs alone are taller than many humans—about 6 feet. They have their distinctive necks which alone can reach almost 2 meters in height. A male giraffe can weigh as much as a pickup truck! That’s about 1400 kilograms. The hair that makes up a giraffe tail is about 10 times thicker than the average strand of human hair.
Giraffes have some distinctive characteristics than other animals. Giraffes spend most of their lives standing up; they even sleep and give birth standing up. Whilst it was thought that giraffes did not make any sounds, this is now known to be untrue, as giraffes bellow, snort, and hiss and make flute-like sounds, as well as low pitch noises beyond the range of human hearing. When giraffes walk, they move both legs on one side of their body and then both legs on the other side; this is unique to giraffes. However, they run in a similar style to other mammals, swinging their rear legs and front legs in unison. They can run as fast as 35 miles an hour over short distances, or cruise at 10 mph over long distances.
Another peculiar characteristic of Giraffe’s distinctive spots that cover a giraffe’s fur act as a good camouflage to protect the giraffe from predators. When the giraffe stands in front of trees and bushes the light and dark coloring of its fur blends in with the shadows and sunlight. Just like snowflakes and human fingerprints, no two giraffes have the same spot pattern. It 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.
Giraffes are ruminants. This means that they have more than one stomach. In fact, giraffes have four stomachs, the extra stomachs assisting with digesting food. Giraffes are herbivores, which mean they eat only plants. Their long necks allow them to reach leaves, buds and branches high up in mimosa and acacia trees. They can eat hundreds of pounds of leaves per week. Though these animals eat a lot, giraffes can go without drinking for weeks at a time. They get most of their moisture from the vegetation they eat. Drinking is one of the most dangerous times for a giraffe. While it is getting a drink it cannot keep a look out for predators and is vulnerable to attack.
Male giraffes sometimes fight with their necks over female giraffes. This called “necking”. The two giraffes stand side by side and one giraffe swings his head and neck, hitting his head against the other giraffe. Sometimes one giraffe is hit to the ground during a combat. As in cattle, female giraffes are called cows, while the males are called bulls. After mating, the cow will have a gestation period of around 14 months.
Regarding offspring, Female 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. Despite the females’ attempts to stand over their calves during attacks by lions, spotted hyenas, leopards and African wild dogs (4), many calves are killed in their first few months.
A female giraffe gives birth while standing up and newborn usually taller than most humans. The calf drops approximately 6 feet to the ground, but it does not hurt from the fall.Giraffes are sociable, peaceful animals which rarely fight. Males do perform a behavior called ‘necking’ where they will hit knocks; ho