IntroductionOn this page we list some basic and interesting facts about the amazing African Giraffe. You will find such information as where they live, and how and what they eat. This species has always interested people, especially kids, and is always one of the main attractions at zoos around the world. See the list below for many interesting Africa giraffe facts.
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Basic Africa Giraffe Facts
- The Giraffe is the tallest animal in the world. It can reach a height of 20 feet (six meters).
- A males average weight is 3,500 pounds (1,600 kg).
- A females average weight is 1,800 pounds (830 kg).
- These African animals can run at speeds of up to 34 miles per hour (56 km/h).
- They inhabit the savannas, grasslands, and open woodlands of Sub-Saharan Africa in a wide range stretching from Chad (Central Africa) to South Africa.
- They can live for up to twenty five years in the wild.
- Their main food is acacia leaves. Their long necks enable them to reach leaves other animals cannot reach.
- Male giraffes are called bulls, females are called cows, and babies are called calves.
Interesting Africa Giraffe Facts
- The giraffe got its name from the Arab word 'Xirapha' which translates to "the one who walks very fast".
- A giraffe's tongue is black and around twenty inches (50.8 cm) long. Which along with its long neck helps it reach leaves that are high up on trees.
- A Giraffe's heart can weigh more than 22 pounds (10 kg). It's heart must be able to generate enough blood pressure to pump blood all the way up its long neck to its brain. To achieve this the giraffes blood pressure is two times that of other large mammals.
- Giraffes are nonterritorial.
- Despite their long neck Giraffes have just seven vertebrae; the same number as human beings. However the giraffes vertebrae are very long.
- Fights among giraffes involve swinging their long necks and trying to land blows on the opponent with their head. These battles can go on for a half an hour or longer. The impacts can be tremendous and often result in broken jaws, broken legs, and other severe injuries or death.
- Dominant Giraffes will stretch their necks up high as a way of displaying their power. Non-dominant giraffes will bow their heads to show they are non-threating.
- A Giraffes front legs are longer than its back legs, which accounts for its sloping back.
- Both male and female giraffes have horns. The horns of a female have hair on the top whereas most males horns have no hair.
- Due to their enormous size and powerful kick predators will generally avoid attacking adult giraffes. Lions and crocodiles have been known to attack them. Giraffes are especially vulnerable to crocodile attacks when lowering themselves for a drink of water. They must spread their legs wide apart in an awkward position which makes it hard to escape a lunging crocodile. The calves are of course more vulnerable and are often attacked by such African predators as lions, crocodiles, hyenas, and wild dogs.
- The South Africa Bushmen have a giraffe dance which they perform to cure head ailments.
- The smoke from burning giraffe skins was used by the medicine men in Buganda to treat nose bleeds.
- The ancient Egyptians had a hieroglyph shaped to look like a giraffe.
- The ancient Romans had a fascination with exotic wild animals including giraffes. Julius Caesar brought one to Rome in 46 BC.