The giraffes use their long (46cms) tongues to get around the thorns that are on the acacia trees. The ossicones, which have lain flat while it was in the womb, become erect within a few days. [10] G. jumae was larger and more heavily built while G. gracilis was smaller and more lightly built. [95] Adult males play almost no role in raising the young,[37]:337 although they appear to have friendly interactions. [53] The shape of the skeleton gives the giraffe a small lung volume relative to its mass. [50] Calves are much more vulnerable than adults and are additionally preyed on by leopards, spotted hyenas and wild dogs. The family was once much more extensive, with over 10 fossil genera described. [42] The upper jaw has a grooved palate and lacks front teeth. The southern giraffe has two subspecies: – Angolan giraffe (G. g. Angolensis) [49]:70 However, as males age, their skulls become heavier and more club-like, helping them become more dominant in combat. Salvador Dalí depicted them with burning manes in some of his surrealist paintings. However, the existence of up to eight extant giraffe species has been described, based upon research into the mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, as well as morphological measurements of Giraffa. [102] Giraffes are the most common food source for the big cats in Kruger National Park, comprising nearly a third of the meat consumed, although only a small portion of the giraffes were probably killed by predators, as a majority of the consumed giraffes appeared to be scavenged. [45][46] It is purplish-black in colour, perhaps to protect against sunburn, and is useful for grasping foliage, as well as for grooming and cleaning the animal's nose. Giraffa camelopardalis peralta Lokojya, This ecotype may also develop five "horns". [50]:45[112] The San people of southern Africa have medicine dances named after some animals; the giraffe dance is performed to treat head ailments. [42], Giraffes are usually found in groups that vary in size and composition according to ecological, anthropogenic, temporal, and social factors. With each step, the animal swings its head. [42], Giraffe gestation lasts 400–460 days, after which a single calf is normally born, although twins occur on rare occasions. They swing their necks towards each other and the one which remains standing is the winner and wins mating rights for that area. Shortly after that, in 1785, the Dutch physician and naturalist Pieter Boddaert gave the name Giraffa giraffa to this species. It could now see and hear all but it could not speak as "silence is wisdom". [50]:27, The giraffe's prehensile tongue is about 45 cm (18 in) long. [21] Its presence in South Sudan is uncertain. To solve this problem, the skin of the lower legs is thick and tight, preventing too much blood from pouring into them. [72] It has also been proposed that the neck serves to give the animal greater vigilance. [14] This behaviour occurs at low or high intensity. Giraffes have their young standing up which means that the calf has a fall of about 1.5 metres before they touch the ground. All Rights Reserved. [7][81][82], Giraffes usually inhabit savannahs and open woodlands. Its scientific name is in honor of Herr von Tippelskirch, who was a member of a German scientific expedition to East Africa that took information and skin samples back to Europe for the first time. Comparisons between giraffes and their ancient relatives suggest that vertebrae close to the skull lengthened earlier, followed by lengthening of vertebrae further down. [37]:327–29 The giraffe can reach a sprint speed of up to 60 km/h (37 mph),[59] and can sustain 50 km/h (31 mph) for several kilometres. [75] The structure of a giraffe's brain resembles that of domestic cattle. [37]:324 A giraffe eats around 34 kg (75 lb) of foliage daily. [101] Because of their size, eyesight and powerful kicks, adult giraffes are usually not subject to predation,[42] although lions may regularly prey on individuals up to 550 kg (1,210 lb).

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