Relative to a 6 foot tall man
Even the giraffe’s tongue is long! The 21 inch (53 centimeter) tongue helps them pluck tasty morsels from treetops like the acacia. They eat about 100 pounds a day everyday and, like cows, regurgitate food and chew it as cud.
This large size can also be a disadvantage as it is very awkward for a giraffe to drink water and makes them very vulnerable to predators like lions and packs of hyenas. Good thing they only need to drink once every several days as most of their water comes from the plants they eat.
The giraffe’s long neck has the same number of cervical vertebrae that we do. But they have elastic blood vessels in their necks allowing them to drink with their heads down without fainting.
Giraffes and a few other animals such as brown bears and camels move both legs on one side and then both legs on the other side. Every step they take is about 15 feet (4.57 meters) in length.
You can tell the difference between a male and female giraffe by looking at their horns or ossicones. The male has shorter hair which reveals an obvious bump of cartilage while the female’s longer hair hides the cartilage.
The name giraffe is derived from the Arab word “Xirapha,” which means “the one who walks very fast.” Their scientific name is camelopardalis. This is the Latin version of cameleopard because of their beautiful spotted coats.
While no two individuals have exactly the same pattern, giraffes from the same area appear similar.
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