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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Giraffe Facts You’ll Never Forget

Here are giraffe facts for kids to know and learn.

We are all well aware of this huge harmless animal with a long cylindrical neck, the giraffe. Giraffes are native to Africa. These beautiful tall creatures are the center of attraction in the jungles of Africa. Due to their tall height, they are easily visible from the forests. These animals are mesmerizing creatures that have some very interesting facts related to them. However, the giraffe population is declining and giraffe reserves are being made to protect them. There are four distinct giraffe sub-species that can be found in the wild, including northern giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis), reticulated giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata), rothschild's giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi),  West African giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis peralta). In order to walk, giraffes first move their legs on one side and then to the other side. Their tall height poses a serious problem when these animals need to drink water. Hence, they must either kneel or spread their front legs to be able to reach water. The average lifespan of this species amongst wildlife is 25 years.

These mammals have been put in the Vulnerable category as giraffe populations are shrinking steadily. Organizations such as Save The Giraffes Kenya are undertaking giraffe conservation efforts to restore the shrinking giraffe populations. Giraffes are the tallest mammals on earth who spend most of their life standing, they even sleep while standing and give birth standing. Their long necks help them access foods that are otherwise difficult to reach. Today, we will get to know all about the exciting giraffe sleeping facts, giraffe hunting facts, and giraffe pregnancy facts. After reading these interesting giraffe facts and information, do check our other articles on Masai giraffe and plains zebra.

Giraffe Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a giraffe?

A giraffe is a long-necked animal of the giraffidae family native to Africa. Just like humans, a giraffe also has seven vertebrates in its neck. These animals are herbivores which means they only eat green leafy food.

What class of animal does a giraffe belong to?

A giraffe belongs to the mammal class of animals. Four of the most popular giraffe subspecies are northern giraffe (giraffa camelopardalis), reticulated giraffe (giraffa camelopardalis reticulata), rothschild's giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi), West African giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis peralta).

How many giraffes are there in the world?

The giraffe population has faced a massive population decline in the last few decades. The population has dropped down to only 68,000 individuals left in the forests of Africa. The main reason behind this huge decline was deforestation leading to habitat loss. Apart from it, they were also being hunted by humans which reduced their population to such an extent.

Where does a giraffe live?

The majority of the giraffe population is found living in the open grasslands and woodlands of the eastern parts of Africa. This African species can be found residing in reserves like the Serengeti National Park and Amboseli National Park in Africa. A few populations of the species can also be found in the southern parts of Africa.

What is a giraffe's habitat?

Giraffes prefer to live in the wild amongst open woodlands and grasslands as these areas have an abundant growth of Acacia. Acacia is basically a genus of trees and shrubs. Giraffes love to eat wild acacia, so they are most likely to make their home in areas where there is ample acacia growth.

Who do giraffes live with?

Giraffes usually live in groups known as herds. It is to be noted that not all the giraffes will live in a herd. Some giraffes, mostly males, prefer to live a solitary life. However, there is no hard and fast rule. A giraffe can either live in a group or be solitary as well. Leaving and joining the group is completely voluntary. Members are allowed to join and leave whenever they want. Giraffes are widely spread, and that's why they may appear to be having no contact with one another at all, but actually, it's not true.

How long does a giraffe live?

A giraffe species has an average life span of 25 years living in the wild. In captivity these beasts might live for a longer period.

How do they reproduce?

Giraffes are mostly polygamous animals. The few dominant males wish to mate with the most fertile female. There is no specific time for the breeding season. It can begin at any point of time throughout the year. But yes, calves are usually born during the drier seasons.

A giraffe becomes sexually mature after becoming 3-4 years old, but they will start mating after the age of 6-7 years. Female giraffes must be physically big enough to handle the pregnancy.

As soon as males pass their qualifications for breeding, they start a ritual fight with other males wherein male giraffes use their long necks and heads. Giraffes are non-territorial animals, so the male who wins in the ritual gets to mate with accessible female giraffes. The gestation period lasts for about 13-15 months. During the first birth, females make a calving area which they use throughout their lifetime.

The delivery of the calf is quite noticeable. The female stands on her all four legs and the baby falls down on the ground. It is to be noted that the baby, even after falling from a height, doesn't get injured.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of giraffes is Vulnerable. The reason behind this is that the giraffe population faced massive population decline in recent decades. The population has dropped down to only 68,000 individuals left in the forests of Africa. The main reason behind this huge decline was deforestation leading to habitat loss.

Giraffe Fun Facts

What do giraffes look like?

Giraffes are a tall and enormous creature which is recognized by their long neck and tall physique. They have long legs and a white-yellow coat with brown spots on it. Surprisingly, the coat pattern of a giraffe is unique to the individual animal. Both males and females have two hair-covered giraffe horns that are called ossicones which are attached to the giraffe skull. Their long legs can go up to 6 ft in length. Recently one albino giraffe was discovered in the wilderness but studies proved that it is the last surviving white giraffe whose skin color is due to leucism, a genetic condition that causes skin cells to have no pigmentation.

A giraffe prefers to feed on acacia trees.

How cute are they?

Despite their enormous physique, every cute giraffe face looks totally adorable. The main reason behind the cuteness of a little giraffe is the cute face and calm nature.

How do they communicate?

Giraffes are mostly silent. Their communication pattern is such that giraffe sounds are not completely audible to humans as they have an infrasonic way of communicating. Their moans and grunts are so low that it is hardly audible to us. Apart from this, they can also communicate through gestures, eyes, and touch.

How big is a Giraffe?

A giraffe can be up to 21 ft tall with the long legs themselves measuring up to 6 ft, which makes it the tallest mammal on the earth. Newborn calves are around 7 ft tall and weigh around 100-160 pounds. Giraffe calves grow 3 in each day during the initial first week of their lives.

How fast can a giraffe run?

Giraffes are really fast runners. Giraffes can run at an impressing speed of 40 miles per hour over short distances.

How much does a giraffe weigh?

The average weight of a giraffe is somewhere between 1500-3,000 lb.

What are their male and female names of the species?

A male giraffe is called a bull, and a female giraffe is called a cow.

What would you call a baby giraffe?

A baby giraffe is called a calf. The newborn giraffes or calves are able to stand on their feet just within a few hours of birth.

What do they eat?

Giraffes are herbivores, and the majority of their diet is based on leaves and similar plant materials. The almost 20-22 in giraffe tongue helps them reach their preferred diet, comprising the leaves of Acacia and Mimosa trees. Apart from these, they can also eat vines, herbs, climbers, flowers, and fruits. The diet of giraffes contains a lesser amount of grass. Giraffes need at least 75 lb of food per day. Giraffes are known for spending the majority of their time eating. Giraffe water consumption every day is around 38-40 litres.

Are they dangerous?

Giraffes are calm animals; they usually do not showcase aggressive behavior unless they are threatened.

They usually run away from dangerous spots, but that does not imply that they are totally harmless. A giraffe can kick in order to defend itself, and this kick can cause serious injuries.

Would they make a good pet?

No, the reason is that they are extremely tall and will need a lot of accommodation. And let's suppose somehow you manage to provide them with ample living space, then you have to also provide them with at least 75 lb of food per day.

Did you know...

It will be surprising for you to know that giraffes also have seven vertebrates in the giraffe neck, just like humans.

The giraffe name, giraffa camelopardalis, means a camel with a leopard's coat.

The tongue of the giraffe is 20 inches long and dark-colored. The dark color of the tongue helps them in preventing excess sun exposure.

Do giraffes have 2 hearts?

No, it is a common misunderstanding. Giraffes do not have two hearts. They only have one heart.

Is eating giraffe illegal?

It is mostly illegal to eat a giraffe, but in very rare circumstances a giraffe is eaten.

How to draw a giraffe?

If you are up for giraffe drawing, then follow the steps mentioned below for the most impressive giraffe silhouette.

Firstly, draw two circles with one vertically above the other. Between these two circles leave a reasonable gap as the length of the neck of your giraffe will be based on this gap.  Now, join the two circles by drawing a pair of curved lines in a manner that forms the shape of the giraffe's neck. The upper circle will be the giraffe head, and now draw a curved line to make an oval-like shape in front of the head. This oval shape will be the giraffe's face. Now, draw an oval shape just at the base of its neck. This oval shape will form the belly area of your giraffe.Now, in order to give a proper shape to your giraffe's body, connect these shapes and outline the neck, stomach, and back of your giraffe. From the base of the stomach, draw the legs of your giraffe. Then draw the horns and ears of your giraffes at a slightly backward position of the head. Now, the basic body structure of your giraffe is ready, now you just have to give a proper outline to your giraffe. And after outlining the main lines, erase the rough lines. Now, draw the eyes, lips, and spots on the body of your giraffe. And with this the drawing of your giraffe is complete. Now, fill the colors in your giraffe. Giraffes have a yellow coat with sandy brown or tan spots on it. And once you are done coloring, your giraffe will be ready.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including zorse, or mountain goat.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our giraffe coloring pages.

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