Giraffe

Giraffe (Maasai)

Giraffe have little sexual dimorphism other than males being taller and having heavier straighter horns. The Maasai Giraffe differ from other races in having dark brown blotches as opposed to blocks. Aided by a 45 cms long tongue and a modified atlas-axis joint the Giraffe can feed on most heights of trees, of which Acacias, Commiphora and Terminalia are their favourite; big bulls being able to feed at heights of 19 ft.The amount that giraffes eat in a day varies but is less than half the intake of typical grazers.Due to their concetrated nutritional value of the foliage which they select and efficient and modest feeding is possible. An astounding number of special features allow this ruminating animal to survive in most ecosystems with appropriate food. They are non territorial and associate in loose herds, the only real bonds being between mother and calf until 1.5 years old.

The gestation period lasts about 14.5mths and the young animal is born about 100 kgs heavy and close to 6 ft tall. Being very precocious they walk within 15 mins and suckle within 1hour. Up until 1year old when they are weaned, the young are often left in crèches by the females. Giraffes have exceptional eyesight and also are believed to communicate through subsonic vocalizations, and so are perfectly able to be good mothers. They rarely fall fowl from predators as they are attentive, apart from when lions specialize in hunting them in certain areas.

Longevity about 25 years.

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Giraffe (Maasai)

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