Thursday, 12 January 2017

Giraffe Facts

1) The giraffe is an ungulate mammal that gives milk to its young ones.
2) The giraffe is the tallest living land animal.
3) The giraffe is the largest ruminant.
4) The Southern giraffe is Giraffa giraffa
5) The giraffe's distinct characteristics are extremely long neck and legs, horn-like ossicones, and coat patterns.
6) The closest relative of giraffe is the okapi.
7) Giraffes are mostly found in the African continent.
8) Giraffes are usually found in the savannahs and woodlands.
9) The chief food source of giraffe is leaves, fruits and flowers of woody plants.
10) The most important tree on which giraffes depend a lot is Acacia species.
11) The main predators of giraffes are lions and leopards.
12) Giraffes are gregarious as they live in groups.
13) The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies giraffes as Vulnerable to extinction.
14) As of 2016 there are approximately 97,500 giraffs in the wild, with around 1,144 in captivity.
15) In Arabic giraffe means a "fast-walker".
16) "Camelopard" is an archaic English name that means an animal with a camel-like body and leopard-like colouring.
17) Climatic changes caused the extinction of the Asian giraffes in the past.
18) Jean-Baptiste Lamarck believed the giraffe's long neck was due to "Inheritance of acquired characters."  (developed as generations of ancestral giraffes strove to reach the leaves of tall trees).
19) According to Darwin's "natural selection" ancestral giraffes developed long necks due to competitive feeding advantage (Competing Browsers Hypothesis)
20) A fully grown giraffes stands 4.3-5.7 m (14.1-18.7 ft) tall.
21) Male giraffes are taller than females.
22) The average weight of a giraffe is 1,192 kg (2,628 lb) for an adult male and 828 kg (1,825 lb) for an adult female.
23) Giraffes have a pair of large, bulging eyes at lateral sides of the head to give a good all-round vision from its great height.
24) Giraffes see in colour.
25) The senses of hearing and smell of giraffes are sharp.
26) The giraffe can close its muscular nostrils to protect against sandstorms and ants.
27) The giraffe's tongue is about 45 cm (18 in) long.
28) The giraffes tongue is purplish-black in colour to protect against sunburn.
29) Both the upper lip and tongue of the giraffe are prehensile and useful in foraging.
30) The lips, tongue, and inside of the mouth are covered in papillae to protect against thorns.
31) The skin coat of giraffe has dark orange, chestnut, brown, or nearly black blotches or patches separated by light hair (white or cream).
32) The coat pattern of giraffes serves as camouflage in the light and shade patterns of savannah woodlands.
33) The skin underneath the dark patches serves as windows for thermoregulation (temperature controller), complex blood vessels and large sweat glands.
34) Each individual giraffe has a unique coat pattern.
35) Giraffe fur has about  11 aromatic chemicals.
36) The chief chemical responsible for giraffe's body odour is indole-3-methyl indole.
37) The tail of giraffe is about one-metre (3.3-ft) long.
38) Both sexes of giraffes have prominent horn-like structures on the head called ossicones.
39) Ossicones are formed due to the oscification of cartilage.
40) Oscicones are circulated with blood vessels and play a role in thermoregulation.
41) Male giraffes develop calcium deposits on the skull to form bumps with age.
42) The skull of giraffes is light due to multiple sinuses.
43) The skulls of male giraffes are heavier to resist during combating with others.
44) The front and back legs of giraffes are of the same length.
45) Suspensory ligaments support the lanky feet of giraffes to bear the huge animal weight.
46) The maximum speed of a giraffe is 60 km/h (37 mph).
47) The giraffe sleeps intermittently for 4-6 hours a night.
48) Giraffes can float but can't  swim efficiently.
49) The neck of a giraffe is up to 2–2.4 m (6.6-7.9 ft).
50) The long neck results from the disproportionate lengthening of the cervical vertebrae.
51) Each cervical vertebra of a giraffe's neck is over 28 cm.
52) 52-54 per cent of the length of the giraffe's vertebral column is in neck.
53) The elongation of the neck takes place after birth.
54) The giraffe's head and neck are held up by large muscles, a nuchal ligament, and long dorsal spines on the anterior thoracic vertebrae.
55) The giraffe's neck vertebrae have ball and socket joints.
56) The atlas–axis joint (C1 and C2) allows the animal to tilt its head vertically and reach more branches with the tongue.
57) The point of articulation between the cervical and thoracic vertebrae of giraffes lies between the first and second thoracic vertebrae.
58) The herbivorous competitors which might have made elongation of giraffes neck in the past were askudu, steenbok and impala.
59) Giraffes can feed leaves on up to 4.5 m high branches.
60) Adult giraffes with longer necks die earlier than those of shorter necks during famines.
61) The left recurrent laryngeal nerve of the giraffe is longer - nearly 5 m (16 ft).
62) The giraffe's brain is kept cool by evaporative heat loss in the nasal passages.
63) The shape of the skeleton gives the giraffe a small lung volume relative to its mass.
64) A long narrow windpipe is all along the giraffe's neck.
65) The heart of the giraffe  is about 11 kg (25 lb) and measures about 60 cm (2 ft) long.
66) The heart of the giraffe generates approximately double the blood pressure required for a human to maintain blood flow to the brain.
67) The wall of the heart is 7.5 cm (3.0 in) thick.
68) Giraffes heart rate is 150 beats per minute.
69) When the animal lowers its head the blood rushes down fairly unopposed and the upper neck prevents excess blood flow to the brain. When it raises again, the blood vessels constrict and direct the blood into the brain so the animal doesn't faint.
70) Legs have thin skin to prevent excessive blood pressure from heavy body.
71)Giraffes have strong oesophageal muscles to allow regurgitation of food from the stomach up the neck and into the mouth for rumination.
72) The Angolan giraffe is found in deserts.
73) Chief sources of calcium and protein for giraffes growth is from Acacia, Commiphora and Terminalia trees.
74) A giraffe eats around 34 kg (75 lb) of foliage daily.
75) The giraffe visits carcasses to lick dried meat off bones.
76) The giraffe requires less food because the foliage it eats has more concentrated nutrients and it has a more efficient digestive system
77) During sexual courtship males emit loud coughs.
78) Females call their young by bellowing.
79) Calves emit snorts, bleats, mooing and mewing sounds.
80) Giraffes snore, hiss, moan, grunt and make flute-like sounds also.
81) The giraffe is polygamous that is a few older males mate with the fertile females.
82) Male giraffes assess female fertility by tasting the female's urine to detect oestrus, in a multi-step process known as the flehmen response.
83) Giraffe's gestation period 400- 460 days.
84) The mother gives birth standing up.
85) A newborn giraffe is 1.7–2 m (5.6-6.6 ft) tall.
86) Mothers leave their calves with one female while  foraging and drinking in with a herd known as a "calving pool".
87) The behaviour of male giraffes using their necks as weapons in combat is known as "necking".
88) Giraffe's lifespan is up to 25 years.
89) Giraffes are commonly prey to lions.
90) Giraffes rely on red-billed and yellow-billed oxpeckers to clean them off ticks and alert them to danger.
91) Giraffe dance is performed to treat head ailments in Southern Africa.
92) The Kiffians' life-size rock engraving of two giraffes are called the "world's largest rock art petroglyph".
93) Old Egyptian kept giraffes as pets.
95) The first giraffe in Rome was first brought in by Julius Caesar in 46 BC.
96) The giraffe's memorabilia is called "giraffanalia"
97) Giraffe's skin is studied to develop suits for astronauts and fighter pilots.
98) Computer scientists have modelled the coat patterns of several subspecies using reaction-diffusion mechanisms.
99) Giraffe's meat was used as food.
100) The tail hairs were used as fly swatters, bracelets, necklaces and threads.
101) Shields, sandals and drums were made using the skin.
102) The strings of musical instruments were made from the tendons.
103) The smoke from burning giraffe skins was used by the medicine men of Buganda to treat nose bleeds.
104) The Humr people of Sudan consume the drink Umm Nyolokh, which is created from the liver and marrow of giraffes.
105) Umm Nyolokh often contains DMT and other psychoactive substances from plants the giraffes eat such as Acacia; and is known to cause hallucinations of giraffes, believed to be the giraffes' ghosts by the Humr.
106) Nubian giraffe was the most threatened of all giraffes.
107) Giraffe is the national animal of Tanzania.
108) When giraffes walk, they move both legs on one side of their body and then both legs on the other side; this is unique to giraffes.

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