Giraffes: World’s Tallest Animals

When we see a giraffe the first thing that we get impressed by it’s the height probably not seeing that they actually have the biggest heart of all the land animals.

They are the tallest animals in the world, and that’s what they are famous for. This is the main reason why do they do most of the things standing up: eating, sleeping and giving birth. A giraffe can reach up to 5 meters in height which explains why a group of giraffes is called a tower.  Whether in zoos or in the wild you’ll probably notice them standing, peacefully eating or walking showing off their nice coat patterns. They do have what to show since there aren’t two giraffes with the same coat pattern.

One of the benefits being the tallest mammals in the world is that they can reach the leaves and vegetation they eat at a height where other animals can’t. With their 50 cm long tongue they grab the leaves of the high branches and chew them with the 32 teeth that they own.

Considering that they get to sleep for about an hour or two per day there is plenty of time left for eating and walking which are their main activities. Because of the predators they actually rarely sleep. Although they can sleep with their legs under the body and head resting on they don’t sleep most of the time instead, take a nap for a few minutes standing up.

With the excellent sight, that they possess, being the tallest as well, they can spot the predators from a wide distance. Towers can be formed of 10-20 giraffes, but they don’t bond, and anyone can come and go, with no rules on the number of females or males in the group whatsoever.

We won’t ever hear them making noise, because the level of noise that they communicate is too low for us the humans to hear it. Finally, giraffes can’t jump which is understandable with their 2 meters long legs, but they can run pretty fast, at 50 km/h.

It’s true: before mating, the male will taste the female urine to see if she is ready to mate. Females though prefer males with long necks probably because of the ”necking”. When two giraffes fight for dominance they do that with their necks.

To drink or not to drink? Most of the water needed they get from their food, the plants that they are consuming, but once in every few days, they can be seen drinking water as well. When drinking water they put themselves at risk of being attacked by predators since they have to spread their front legs for their neck to reach down to the water. This position of the body makes them easy prey for the predators that can sneak out from behind and attack them. Kicking with legs is their main defense. Lions can get seriously hurt from an adult giraffe kick. Being so big and heavy (more than 1000 kg), they are threatened only by lions that will go after and hunt an adult giraffe. However young giraffes can be hunted by hyenas, leopards, and crocodiles as well.

Giraffes have a gestation period of 15 months and will give birth to one calf in a lifetime. While giving the birth standing up the young ones won’t mind falling on the grown from 2 m height. Unfortunately, half of the young giraffes (calves) don’t survive in the wild and die before reaching maturity. In fact, because of the predators and the diseases they encounter in the wild, giraffes in zoos have a more peaceful life and can live longer than in the wild up to 25 years. Probably will get some sleep too. On the other hand, they like to walk a lot and when captured that significant space for roaming would probably not be enough for them because of which giraffes can get a bit bored or depressed in the zoos.

There are four different species of giraffes and the ones that we can usually see at the zoos are Rothschild’s giraffes. Being the animals with the longest neck in the world they got the longest day of the year, the 21st of June to be the World Giraffe Day. One safari wouldn’t be complete if there weren’t any giraffes sighted. They can be best seen in Southern and East Africa in the wild: Kruger National Park in South Africa, Etosha National Park in Namibia, Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda, Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and in Kenya at Giraffe Manor you can even spend some time with them and feed them during your stay at this hotel.