Giraffa Camelopardalis

October 6, 2013 by  

Giraffa Camelopardalis, Giraffa camelopardalis is the world’s tallest mammal. Male giraffes (bulls) stand a total of 5.7 m from the ground to their horns: 3.3 m at the shoulders with a long neck of 2.4 m. Female giraffes (cows) are 0.7 to 1 m shorter than bulls. Bulls weigh up to 1,930 kg, while cows can weigh up to 1,180 kg. At birth, giraffe calves are 2 m tall from the ground to the shoulders. Newborn giraffes weigh 50 to 55 kg.

Both male and female giraffes have a spotted coat. The pattern of the coat varies and is an aide for camouflage with the different habitats. The nine giraffe subspecies have various skin patterns. The patches on a giraffe coat can be small, medium, or large in size. Giraffe coats are sharp-edged or fuzzy-edged; small, medium, or large; or yellow to black in color. The skin pattern for an individual giraffe is constant throughout the giraffe’s life. With the changing of season and health, the coat color may be altered. (“Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia”, 2003)

Giraffa camelopardalis have long, sturdy legs, with their front legs longer than their back legs. Giraffe necks contain 7 elongated vertebrae. Giraffes have a steeply sloping back from the shoulders to the rump. Their tails are thin and long, measuring about 76 to 101 cm in length. A black tuft at the end of the tail whisks away flies and other flying insects. Giraffe horns, called ossicones, are bone protuberances covered with skin and fur. Female giraffe horns are thin and tufted; male giraffe horns are thick but the hair is smoothed by sparring. A medium-sized horn is common in both male and females; while males can grow a second pair behind the first pair of horns. The eyes are very large and their 45 cm long black tongue grasps prickly food from the very tops of trees. (Burnie and Wilson, 2001)

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