Giraffes are very quiet and gentle animals and a favorite to watch at the zoo, since they are usually awake. Here are some interesting facts about giraffes.
1. Giraffes are named from an Arab word, Xirapha, which means “the one who walks very fast”.
2. It is the tallest mammal on earth, with the male reaching as high as 18 feet and the feel about 15 feet.
3. A male giraffe is called a bull, a female giraffe is called a cow and a baby giraffe is called a calf.
4. A group of giraffes is called a herd and they are social animals.
5. Even though the giraffe has a long neck, it has the same number of cervical vertebrae as humans.
6. Giraffes are known for their long necks, but cannot reach the ground without help. To drink water, they have to bend their front legs.
7. Giraffes can travel about 34 mph.
8. Giraffe’s legs are very powerful and a single kick can decapitate a lion.
9. Their tongues measure about 18 inches in length.
10. Giraffes only sleep from about 20 minutes to 2 hours a day.
11. They consume approximately 100 pounds of foliage a day. They are vegetarians and eat mostly off the thorny acacia tree.
12. Giraffes live in Africa, with Kenya having the highest population.
13. Every step a giraffe takes is about 15 feet.
14. A giraffe’s age can be calculated by the color of their spots. The older a giraffe is, the darker their spots.
15. They neck wrestle to show which one has the authority in their herd.
16. Giraffes rarely lie down.
17. They have excellent eye sight which helps keep an eye on each other from a distance. They can also hear and smell very well.
18. Their enemies are lions and packs of hyenas.
19. They have antiseptic saliva to help their tongues heal from the thorns of the acacia tree.
20. Their average lifespan is 25 years in the wild and 30 years in captivity.