Strange fossil solves giraffe evolutionary mystery

Fossils of a strange early giraffoid have revealed the key driving forces in giraffe evolution, according to a study led by researchers from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) of the Chinese ...

Bracing for her future: Human medicine rescues giraffe

Over the past three decades Ara Mirzaian has fitted braces for everyone from Paralympians to children with scoliosis. But Msituni was a patient like none other—a newborn giraffe.

Bush-encroaching sickle bush is preferred food of giraffes

A native bush-encroaching shrub species called Sickle Bush (Dichrostachys cinerea) is disliked by livestock keepers and rangeland managers, but loved as forage by wild giraffes, according to research published this week in ...

Male giraffes are more socially connected than females

Although female giraffes have closer "friends" than male giraffes, male giraffes have more "acquaintances" than females, according to a new study by an international team that includes a Penn State biologist. The study demonstrates ...

Leaving by staying: Dispersal decisions of young giraffes

Dispersal, the process where animals reaching sexual maturity move away from family, is important for maintaining genetic diversity and is key to the long-term persistence of natural populations. For most animals, this involves ...

April, the giraffe that became an online star, dies

April, the giraffe that became a sensation when a rural New York zoo livestreamed her 2017 pregnancy and delivery, was euthanized Friday because of advancing arthritis, the zoo said.

The trouble of being tall: Giraffes and their genes

The giraffe is a truly puzzling animal. With its exceptional anatomy and suite of evolutionary adaptations, the giraffe is an outstanding case of animal evolution and physiology. Now, an international team of researchers ...

page 1 from 9

Giraffe

The giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) is an African even-toed ungulate mammal, the tallest of all extant land-living animal species, and the largest ruminant. Its scientific name, which is similar to its archaic English name of camelopard, refers to its irregular patches of color on a light background, which bear a vague resemblance to a leopard's spots, and its face, which is similar to that of a camel. In addition to these features, the giraffe is noted for its extremely long neck and legs and prominent horns. It stands 5–6 meters (16–20 ft) tall and has an average weight of 1,200 kilograms (2,600 lb) for males and 830 kilograms (1,800 lb) for females. It is classified under the family Giraffidae, along with its closest extant relative, the okapi. There are nine subspecies of giraffe, which differ in size, coloration, pattern and range.

The giraffe's range extends from Chad in the north to South Africa in the south and from Niger in the west to Somalia in the east, but it is very scattered. Giraffes usually inhabit savannas, grasslands and open woodlands. They prefer areas with plenty of acacia trees, which are important food sources. Thanks to their extreme height, giraffes can browse for vegetation that most other herbivores cannot reach. They are also nearly invulnerable to predation, although lions, leopards, spotted hyenas, wild dogs and Nile crocodiles prey on calves, and lions take adults in some areas. Although they commonly gather together, giraffe aggregations usually disband every few hours. Male giraffes use their necks to hit each other in combat, a behavior known as "necking". Males mate with multiple females. Females bear the sole responsibility for raising their young.

The giraffe has been prized by various cultures, both ancient and modern, for its peculiar appearance, and has often featured in paintings, novels and cartoons. Despite its popularity, it has been extirpated from many parts of its former range, and some subspecies are classified as endangered. Nevertheless, it is still found in numerous reserves. As a species, the giraffe is classified by the IUCN as Least Concern.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA