Information On Giraffes Page 1


Giraffe Information

The giraffe's scientific name, Giraffa camelopardalis, is the Latin version of cameleopard (lit. tall camel/leopard).  


Giraffes are the tallest land living species on Earth.  An adult giraffe’s height ranges from 14-18 ft.  Adult males weigh 2,420-4,215 lbs; adult females weigh between 1,540 and 2600 lbs.  Because of their height, giraffes rarely lay down; they even sleep and give birth standing up.  Life span averages 20-25 years. Gestation period is 450-465 days, with a single calf.

The prominent horns are formed from ossified cartilage and are called ossicones.  Females have tufts of hair on the top of the horns, whereas males' horns tend to be bald on top.

Giraffes use their long necks and long, prehensile tongues to extend their reach when grazing on tall trees.  The giraffe's circulatory system is specially adapted to the long neck. They have elastic blood vessels in the neck and head to handle changes in blood pressure.

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