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Fun Facts About the Giraffe

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Authored by Rodney Southern in Nature and Wildlife
Published on 10-23-2009

The giraffe is one of the most incredible animals on the planet. Many people do not realize that the giraffe is actually the tallest mammal on the planet. This fact, while amazing, is not the most impressive fact about the giraffe. There are many things about the giraffe that boggles the mind and amazes us. Here are some facts about giraffes that may surprise you.

The giraffe is also one of the fastest animals on the planet. They have six foot legs that allow for a very long gait, and it helps them to travel long distances in a short period of time. The giraffe can run up to 35 miles per hour in short bursts, and it can run a solid ten miles per hour at a normal gait.

The giraffe can completely decimate trees in a very short period of time. This is especially true because giraffes hang out in groups of up to six. Each giraffe can eat hundreds of pounds of leaves in only one week, and this forces the giraffe to travel constantly to find food.

To eat these leaves, the giraffe must use a tongue that is almost as impressive as their long legs and neck. The giraffe’s tongue is actually 21 inches long. This long tongue lets the giraffe reach out and pluck large batches of leaves at one time. The giraffe reaches the tops of the treetops to get their leaves, and therefore get the pick of the litter. Not many animals can reach the treetops like the giraffe.

While the giraffe eats a ton of food, they do not have the same needs for water. The giraffe only drinks about once every three or four days. This is because they get plenty of water from the leaves they consume.

Another reason the giraffe is hesitant to drink water is because they are forced to get into an awkward position to reach down. They must spread their legs wide, and bend over uncomfortably. This leaves them in grave danger to some of the predators of the area.

In spite of the fact that the giraffe is nearly 20 feet tall and weighs 2800 pounds or more, they are still in danger to the African predators that patrol the area. Lions and crocodiles are particularly dangerous as they tend to attack in groups. While a single lion might think twice about attacking a full grown giraffe, a single crocodile would not hesitate to try. Generally these predators will attack as a group, and the young giraffes are the primary targets.

Baby giraffes go through one heck of a battle being born. How many babies do you know of that fall five feet to the ground out of their mother’s womb? The baby giraffe does as the mother gives birth standing up. The baby is very strong, however, and usually will be fully functional within ten hours or so.

Giraffes are among the most fascinating animals on earth, and it is for many more reasons than their height. They are a perfect example of nature adapting and adjusting. Certainly the giraffe is one of the natural wonders of our universe.

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