Giraffe | Giraffes are found in parts of Africa and are the tallest mammals on Earth standing at an average of 6 metres tall. The giraffe is able to reach twigs and leaves at the top of trees that other animals cannot get to thanks to the vast length of the neck of the giraffe. The giraffe is thought to be related to cattle and deer, and inhabit plains, grasslands and wooded areas. Giraffes can spend long periods of time in hot, dry lands as the giraffe is able to drink enormous quantities of water when they come across it.
Male giraffes tend to be more solitary animals than the female giraffes. Female giraffes can often be found in small groups on the African Savannah normally with their young giraffes following close behind their mother giraffes. Despite the fact that a giraffes head is approximately 6 m above ground, the common theory that giraffes are more flexible than the average animal is untrue as the giraffe has the same amount of bones in its neck as any other animal, which is 7. The giraffe is also unable to turn its head back.
The giraffe has spots covering its entire body which is believed to help the giraffe camouflage itself slightly in the African wilderness. Giraffes however, do not have spots on the underside of their tummies and each giraffe has spots that are truly unique to the giraffe as an individual.
Giraffe Foot Facts
- The giraffe has a hoof-like foot that is split into sections that provide the giraffe with a greater surface area and therefore better balance.
- The average hoof of an adult giraffe is about the same size as a dinner plate and can reach 12 inches in diameter.
- When a giraffe walks, the giraffe moves both feet on one side of the body first and then moves both feet on the other side of their body.
- When a giraffe runs, the giraffe moves both feet at the front of its body followed by its back feet as this allows the giraffe to gallop effectively and therefore escape any oncoming predators.
- The hoof of the giraffe is used to fend off unwanted company and is also very adept for walking on solid ground, however the hoof is not very effective on muddy ground and simply sinks into it.
Giraffe Teeth Facts
- The giraffe has very tough lips to ensure that no damage is done to their mouths when chewing on trees and twigs that have thorns.
- The giraffe uses its front teeth and lips to grab onto their food and then pulls it into their mouths using their long tongues before they begin to chew.
- The giraffe has one set of teeth at the front on its bottom jaw and one set at the back on the top jaw, but the giraffe also has a hard plate at the top of its mouth.
- The giraffe uses its teeth, long tongue and hard plate to cut up food before the back teeth are able to chew the last bits before the giraffe can swallow it.
- The two sets of molars in the mouth of the giraffe means that the giraffe has 32 teeth, which is the same amount as humans have.