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Giraffes are the world's tallest mammals, thanks to their towering legs and
long necks. A giraffe's legs alone are taller than many humans (about 6
feet (1.8 meters). These long legs allow giraffes to run as fast as 35 miles
(56 kilometers) on hour over short distances and cruise comfortably at
10 miles (16 kilometers) an hour over longer distances.
Typically, these fascinating animals roam the open grasslands in small
groups of about half adozen.
Bulls sometimes battle one another by butting their long necks and heads.
Such contests aren't usually dangerous and end when one animal submits
and walks away.
Giraffes use their height to good advantage and browse on leaves and buds
in treetops that few other animals can reach (acacias are a favorite).
Even the giraffe's tongue is long! The 21-inch (53centimeter) tongue
helps them pluck tasty morsels from branches.
Giraffes eat most of the time and, like cows, regurgitate food and chew it
as cud. A giraffe eats hundreds of pounds of leaves each week and must
travel miles find enough food.
The giraffe's height also helps it to keep a sharp lookout for predators
across the wide expanse of the African savanna.
The giraffe's stature can be a disadvantage as well—it is difficult and
dangerous for a giraffe to drink at a water hole. To do so they must
spread their legs and bend down in an awkward position that makes
tthem vulnerable to predators like Africa's big cats. - National Geographic
Type: Mammal
Average life span in the wild: 25 years
Size: 14 to 19ft (4 to 6m)
Weight: 1750 to 2800lbs (794 to 1270kg)
Protection Status: Low Risk
Size relitive to a
6 ft (2m)man:
Giraffe - Giraffa camelopardalis
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