What Is A Baby Giraffe Called? Interesting Facts For Curious Kids | Kidadl


What Is A Baby Giraffe Called? Interesting Facts For Curious Kids

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The giraffe is native to many countries in Africa and is considered to be the tallest land animal and the largest rudiment known to man.

Interestingly, a giraffe has three hearts. It has a main heart and two others that pump blood just like the right side of the human heart.

Giraffes are herbivores and have an average lifespan of 25 years. They are 14-19 ft (4.2-5.7 m) tall and weigh 1,750-2,800 lb (793.7-1270 kg). Giraffes tend to move around in groups of 12 or less. They roam around freely, except for occasional standoffs with wild bulls. These usually end with one of the two species walking away. Giraffes can eat leaves from treetops and are often able to choose the best ones. Acacias are the favorite food of giraffes. It is very easy for giraffes to be vigilant and see their predators approaching from a distance in the African Sahara.

However, sometimes the long neck seems like a disadvantage, as a giraffe cannot drink water from small waterholes and has to travel a lot to consume the required amounts of leaves and water. They do not need water daily, instead they drink water once every few days, as most of their water requirements are fulfilled by juicy leaves. Females tend to give birth standing. Giraffe facts also state that the life of a giraffe is a long one. They grow fast, with increasing levels of strength.

The skin of a giraffe is spotted. Depending on the subspecies these spots may differ. Their skin is coarse. The skin of this animal is cleaned by the mothers when the animal is small and as they grow up, they either clean it themselves or other members of the group do it for them. Giraffes love to keep their skin clean. Do you know that giraffes are one of the few animal species that give birth standing?

After reading about what baby giraffes are called, also check out what is a baby bat called and what is a baby turkey called here on Kidadl.

What is a baby giraffe called?

A baby giraffe is called a calf. It is interesting to know that the babies of elephants and zebras are also referred to as calves.

The gestation period of giraffes is 15 weeks. A female giraffe gives birth standing up so the newborn baby hits the ground as soon as it comes out. The baby giraffe can easily start to walk and run along with its mother just 10 hours after birth! The calf is usually 6 ft (1.8 m) tall and weighs 100 lb (45.3 kg). Usually, a female calf is a bit smaller in size than a male calf.  These babies grow very fast and gain almost double their birth height in their first year. Usually, one infant is born at a time, although there have been instances of twin calves being born. Calves do not eat solid food for the first 9-12 months of their lives.

Young baby giraffes tend to suckle at their mother’s milk during this time in their life. Baby giraffes stay close to cows, they stand, walk and run along with their mothers. A young giraffe starts consuming leaves in small quantities after the first four months after birth. A young giraffe needs constant protection as it is seen as easy prey for most predators. As infants, they stand and drink their mother's milk, which they are able to do as they are born 6 ft (1.8 m) tall. The mother protects the baby giraffe from any incoming predators by using her powerful kick as a defense.

How big is a baby giraffe?

Did you know adult giraffes are 14-19 ft (4.2-5.7 m) tall and weigh 1,750-2,800 lb (793.7-1270 kg)?

It is most often seen that a giraffe baby is 6 ft (1.8 m) tall, although this might differ slightly depending on the gender of the giraffe baby. Irrespective of variations in birth height, the baby is always tall enough to drink its mother’s milk. Even when twins are born, they take turns drinking this milk. Twins are a rare phenomenon; it is more common for a female to give birth to a single calf. The calf or calves are always protected by the females of the herd. These babies are sometimes kept covered under the long grass of the savanna.

In the first few weeks after birth, the baby is introduced to the rest of the herd. As the mothers have to leave the baby while they eat leaves when in a herd, females tend to form a separate group in which a single female takes turns to look after all the babies of the group. This way the adults do not starve and the calves are also safe. Male calves tend to join all-male giraffe groups when they are 15 months old and females usually leave their herd at 18 months of age. Sometimes female calves have been found to remain a part of the same group as their mother, otherwise, they join another group in the same area.

Acacias are the favourite food of giraffes

What does a baby giraffe eat?

Calves depend on the milk provided by their mother for the early weeks of their life. An infant tends to stand and drink milk. In the wild, infants walk, rest, and stay close to their mothers. In the early months, the giraffe's neck starts to grow and become long.

Although they are already born with long necks, calves tend to grow fast, within months. Even though there are various subspecies of giraffes that are present in the wild, the calves of all those subspecies tend to follow similar milestones as they grow tall. As the neck becomes long, the giraffe’s weight also increases.

After four months of age, these calves can start eating leaves and also start remunerating. They walk along with their herd with their long necks and increasing weight to search for leaves. Baby giraffes eat around 75 lb (34 kg) of leaves per day. Giraffes eat the whole day long, as they eat a few leaves at a time. Acacia leaves are the giraffe's favorite and are protected against consumption by other animals in the wild by long thorns which discourage animals from going near them.

Facts About A Baby Giraffe

There are loads of facts to learn about baby giraffes.

A giraffe’s gestation period is 14 months. At birth, the baby drops directly on the ground with its head facing downwards. The fall on the ground is not harmful, it starts their breathing. Within the first hour, the baby sits, stands, and starts to walk, unimpacted by the sudden fall on the ground.

Male giraffes are taller than female giraffes. The long neck of the giraffe helps it eat the best leaves at the top of the trees. Male giraffes are as tall as 18 ft (5.4 m) while females tend to be 14 ft (4.2 m) tall. Their weight also varies accordingly.

The diet of a baby at first comprises only milk and later they shift to solid food. The diet of giraffes consists of tasty leaves which they continue to eat for about 18 hours per day.

A male giraffe is called a bull while a female giraffe is called a cow. A baby is called a calf. When the cow or female giraffe leaves the baby to search for her food, the baby waits in the same place. The majority of the time, the mother is the primary caretaker of the calf but sometimes when in a group, special care groups may be formed where a single cow or female giraffe takes care of lots of calves while the individual mothers are eating leaves.

Even at birth, giraffes have baby horns, called ossicones. These ossicones are curved in the beginning and may take a few hours to stand up. Both male and female giraffes possess these horns called ossicones. They are formed by cartilage and are covered with skin. Females have ossicones covered with hair towards the end. Males have longer ossicones than females. Facts suggest that male giraffes have knobs on their ossicones which later become bald as the giraffe’s age increases.

Giraffe babies move around with their families. A family of giraffes may contain all females or a mix of males and females. Young independent males also roam around with an all-male family until they mate. They tend to move in small groups of 12 or less. Males typically do not rear the baby but if their group includes a young giraffe, they will look out for it, as all giraffes have each others' backs. Male giraffes reach sexual maturity when they are six years old but mate only after reaching their teens. Giraffe adults are like human adults, they take care of their families. Humans are careful and vigilant of their surroundings and likewise, adult giraffes are also very conscious of their surroundings and the animals that roam around in the same habitat. Other animals around giraffes usually do not mess with them. Most herbivorous animals live peacefully in the savanna region with threats from other wild carnivorous animals.

A giraffe heart weighs about 25 lb (11.3 kg) as it requires a lot of energy to send blood to its head. When the giraffe lowers down its head to drink water, proper regulation of its blood pressure is essential to prevent its arteries from bursting. Facts indicate that the blood pressure of a giraffe is much higher than that of any other animal. Other animals would not be able to survive such high pressure. The walls of the blood vessels of giraffes are thicker than those of most other animals which is why they are able to survive such high levels of pressure. Giraffes ruminate, they tend to chew the cud just like cows. Their kick is so strong that it can kill even a lion. The tongue of a giraffe is 18 in (45.7 cm) long. Their neck itself is 6-8 ft (1.8-2.4 m) long and can weigh over 600 lb (272 kg).

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for what is a baby giraffe called then why not take a look at what is a baby moose called, or how to raise a duck.

Written By
Supriya Jain

<p>As a skilled member of the Kidadl team, Shruti brings extensive experience and expertise in professional content writing. With a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from Punjab University and an MBA in Business Administration from IMT Nagpur, Shruti has worked in diverse roles such as sales intern, content writer, executive trainee, and business development consultant. Her exceptional writing skills cover a wide range of areas, including SOP, SEO, B2B/B2C, and academic content.</p>

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