Children

Tower of strength

A gentle giant   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

1. Giraffes love the tropical grassland with warm temperatures of the African savannahs.

2. They are the tallest living terrestrial animals and the largest of ruminants.

3. The name “giraffe” originated from the Arabic word zarāfah, which translates as “fast-walker”. A group of giraffes is called a tower.

4. Their height allows them to reach leaves that few other animals can. And their 21-inch tongue helps them pluck tasty morsels from branches.

5. However, getting a drink of water is difficult. They have to spread their legs and bend down in an awkward position that makes them vulnerable to predators like Africa's big cats.

6. They literally leap out into the world, falling more than five feet to the ground. The infants can stand in half an hour and run with their mothers just 10 hours after birth.

7. Giraffes arch their necks to force air through their windpipes, creating very low frequency sounds. And they have three hearts!

8. You see their beautiful spotted coats? No two individuals have exactly the same pattern. But, giraffes from the same area appear similar.

9. In the wild, giraffes live for about 25 years. They also smell bad. It is possibly a guard against ticks and fungus. They face several threats, including loss of habitat and hunting.

10. Giraffes sleep less than two hours a day. In general, they sleep with their feet tucked under them and their head resting on their hindquarters, but they can also sleep for short periods of time standing up.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2021 4:49:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/ten-facts-about-the-giraffe/article31848192.ece

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