Bookmarkable URL:http://hdl.handle.net/10217/52211

Scientific Classification

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Artiodactyla
Family:Giraffidae
Genus:Giraffe
Genus species:Giraffe camelopardalis

Animal Characteristics

Head-Body Length:3.8-4.7 m
Height:3.3 m
Weight:550-1930 kg
Identification:The giraffe has a light coat with irregular dark spots. The exact coloration varies by location. The giraffe has one or two pairs of skin-covered horns and a long tuft of hair at the tip of its tail.
Habitat:Savannas
Diet:Herbivore: buds, fruit, foliage of acacia and thorn trees, grass, plants, crops
Reproduction:Giraffes gestate for 400-468 days, giving birth to one (rarely two) young. The calf is weaned at 6-12 months and is considered full grown when it is ten years old. Longevity is 25 years in the wild.
Groups of giraffes, called troops,are led by a male and include a female and her offspring. Sometimes larger herds will form
Behavior:Giraffes are largely nocturnal. Males wrestle (necking) with their head and necks, establishing a dominance hierarchy. Feeding behavior varies by sex - males feed with their heads and necks held as high as possible; females keep their necks curled over to feed at body or knee height.
Status:No special status
Interesting Facts:The skull of a male is continuously laying down bone. Therefore, as the giraffe ages, more bumps appear on his head. A giraffe's tongue can be up to 46 cm long, enabling it to pull leaves off trees. The spots on the coat are like a fingerprint - no two giraffes have the exact same pattern. Giraffes fall into deep sleep, with their necks on the ground, for only five minutes a day; the neck is held vertically otherwise.

Other Information

Geographic:Sub-Saharan Africa Date:1958-1988 Subjects:Giraffe
even-toed ungulate
Giraffa
Giraffidae
Artriodactyla
Mammals
Vertebrates
Chordata
Ruminants
Ungulates