Guest Author - Jeanne Egbosiuba Ukwendu
Latin Name: Giraffe camelopardalis, which means "the fast-walking camel-leopard."
African Names: Twiga (Swahili), Ndwiga (Kikuyu), Furiramudenga (Shona), Thutlwa (Tswana), Indiulamithi (Zulu)
Sub-Species: 9 accepted sub-species - Reticulated giraffes (most common, brown spots on white), Nubian giraffes, Nigerian/West African giraffes (pale, reddish yellow spots), Kordofan giraffes, Baringo or Rothschild’s giraffes (deep brown spots sometimes rectangular-shaped), Kilimanjaro or Masai giraffes (leaf-shaped spots), Thornicroft’s giraffes, Angolan giraffes, Southern giraffes
Height: 14 to 20 feet (4.2 to 6.0 meters)
Average Adult Weight: Female, 1540-2600 pounds (700-1182 kg) on average
Life Span: 10 years, but have been known to live up to 27 years
Description: Giraffes have black tongues. Although their neck is very long, they only have 7 vertebrae in their necks - just like humans! Giraffes are normally silent, but calves can bleat, cows bellow to find their calves, and they will also give warning snorts, moans, and hisses.
Habitat: Giraffes live only in the African savannah, in scrub, and open acacia woodlands south of the Sahara.
Babies: Live birth. A baby giraffe has a 6 foot (2 meter) drop when it is born and lands on its head!
Food: Mostly tree leaves. Giraffes drink very little and can go up to two weeks without water. They have four stomaches (similar to a cow) where they regurgitate their food and chew it completely.
Group Name: A tower or herd which can consist of two to fifty giraffe. Groups of young giraffe are called creches.
Habits: Giraffes sleep up to 12 minutes per day.
Recommended Reading & Viewing:
ABC correspondent takes you into the life and times of the giraffe of Africa.
On the DVD:
*See a giraffe born - yes it did land on it's head!
*Learn about Giraffe Manor in Kenya
*See how giraffe are moved from one reservation to another
*Learn about the giraffe that walked to Paris.
Lynn Sherr also wrote the companion book to the DVD "Tall Blondes".