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Giraffe

Giraffa camelopardalis

Description - Other Names - Distribution - Taxonomy

Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) Silhouette

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Description

Giraffe © C Du Plessis

Giraffe's have the most unusual appearance of all Africa's mammals. Their excessively long legs and neck allow them to feed on leaves and seed-pods at a level where they have no competition amongst the other herbivores. Giraffes are found in habitats where there are tallish trees and are frequently seen in the acacia savannahs.

Giraffe head © S JansenTheir patchwork body-patterns vary slightly though individual colour differences may sometimes be very obvious, some having unusually dark body patches whilst others are very light. The differences do not indicate different species, but merely represent the normal variation found in every animal species.

Giraffe are susceptible to attack by lion. The lion jumps onto the back of a fleeing giraffe, grabs a firm hold and bites into the neck. The giraffe, however, is not an easy prey. The kick from a distraught giraffe can kill or severely injure any careless predator.

After a gestation period of 15 months, a single calf is born. Giraffes give birth standing up and the calf can start to walk within an hour of being born.

Other Names

Distribution

Distribution Map of the Black Rhinoceros
Distribution map
of the
Giraffe

Taxonomy

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