What do giraffes eat?

What do giraffes eat?

Giraffes are the tallest creatures present on the Earth. They range from approximately four to six meters. With such body features, many questions arise like what do giraffes eat, how and where do they get enough nutrients to sustain their massive bodies. There are many reasons for a person to be curious about these fascinating creature.

What do giraffes eat?

So what do giraffes eat-

Giraffes are herbivorous animals, which means that they do not depend upon the flesh of other animals for their survival.

Since they are found in the Savanna reasons in central and southern Africa, it is to be understood that they do have predators and other dangers of the wild.

These areas have abundant grass which they can feed upon. But the bodies of giraffes are not ideally made for that particular task.

Now we just said that they are herbivores and depend upon vegetation for their survival but have difficulty eating the grass from the ground, so how does that work.

The answer to this question is quite simple. They depend on the leaves, fruits, etc that grow on the tall trees for their survival.

The grass on the ground is also perfectly consumable by them but the thing is, their legs are too long and the neck is not long enough to reach the ground.

However, they can reach the ground by striking an awkward pose with their legs.

They bend their legs in an unusual position keeping their balance and eat the grass on the ground.

Another question arises that whether they can eat any plant they see or do they have any personal preferences.

What do giraffes eat?They do prefer some plants over others. They do not just eat leaves. They also eat branches and bushes.

The preferred term for them is Browsers.

The way the giraffe eats is way too similar to that of the cow’s. They just get the branch and with a swing of their head get all the leaves in their mouth and start chewing.

The regions where these animals reside have acacia trees. These trees are tall and provide easy access of leaves and branches to the giraffes.

Commonly they are seen to be preferred by the giraffes as their primary source of nutrition.

Apricot and other trees like the mimosa are also preferred over other plants and trees in the region.

As previously discussed, another reason that they do not eat the shrubs and bushes from the ground is that the position leaves them vulnerable to predators like lions.

How long is a giraffe’s neck

So how long is a giraffe’s neck?... Their neck is approximately 1.5 meters long which is like 5 feet.

This is pretty long as compared to the other animals. Apart from this, they do have similarities to the other mammals.

Like most of the mammals and us humans, their neck consists of six vertebrae.

What do giraffes eat?

The distinctive feature is the space by which they are separated which is 10 inches. They have unusually strong muscles.

These allow them to even fight using their necks. It has been recorded that when the male's fight they use their horns and neck in order to beat others.

How much do giraffes weigh

As the tallest animal on land, it is to be well expected that the giraffe weighs quite a lot and it is true.

For a giraffe, the average weight is about 800 to 1100 kilograms. The average weight for the northern giraffe is 800kgs.

The females are lighter than males. They weigh up to 700 kilograms and the males get to be more than 1000 kilograms.

Giraffes have to eat regularly to maintain their massive bodies. They eat approx 30 kg of food in a single day.

How long do giraffes live

Quite sadly, they live for approx 25 years. This is true for the giraffes living in the wild.

But surprisingly the ones which are in captivity have a lower life expectancy.

The giraffes living in zoos are more prone to disease-causing factors which reduce their life expectancy.

But in any case, if these problems do not arise, they can live for 28 years or more in captivity.

Size of Giraffe tongue-

Their tongue is really huge, it is about 45 to 50 cm long. It is dark due to high melanin density. It is usually violet, bluish or black.

Facts About Giraffe

Giraffe is the biggest, the tallest creature, tallest living terrestrial animal and the largest ruminant in the world, and natively belong to Africa.

The are some facts on Giraffe that will introduce you much about this mammal.

  • Comparing​ Giraffe with a human the Giraffe height at the time of birth is as of a grown human adult which is 6 feet. 
  • Like the two humans cannot have the same fingerprints the two Giraffe can never have the same spots.
  • Giraffe neck has the exact number of bones that a human neck has which means a neck of 1.8 meters has only 7 vertebrae.
  • The blood pressure of Giraffe is twice as of human.
  • Their age of a can be identified by seeing it as their spots get darker as they age.
  • Ever thought, how do Giraffe drink? They drink by making an awkward position by stretching its legs and downing its neck to drink water.
  • A Giraffe heart can weight 11 kg and it pumps around 60 liters of blood per minute.
  • Giraffes too eat bones, they do not kill others for food, but they require to eat bones as their huge body requires a lot of calcium in their diet which can't be fulfilled by a vegetarian diet.
  • Their tongue is mainly, purple, bluish or black, this is due to the large density of melanin pigment in their tongue.
  • The fact that how their heart is able to supply oxygen to his long neck and the entire body is unknown. Some researches reveal that They have a small but highly powerful heart which is different from similar mammals. Earlier it was assumed that these animals might be having two hearts, which was found to be wrong.
  • Ossicones, the Giraffe's horns are soft at the time of birth and get hardens with time and always remains covered with skin, These giant animals usually use his horns and his highly muscular neck in fighting​ with other Giraffes.
  • Masai is the largest type of Giraffe.
  • Only 25 to 50% Giraffe calf reach adulthood, and Giraffes live to an average of 21 to 25 years in wild and 28 years in confinement (imprisonment).
  • They were earlier called "camel-leopard" as everyone thought it is a combination of leopard and camel due to the structure like camel and spots like a leopard.

Why Are Giraffe Endangered?

The main reasons behind the Giraffe being endangered are the interference of humans, due to poaching, and the changes coming in their climate and the habitat loss.

Reticulated Giraffe was too even once put in the list of endangered ones.

From seven countries the Giraffe had already vanished -Eritrea, Guinea, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Malawi, and Mauritania.

In the last 30 to 31 years from about 157000 in 1985, their number has dropped to about 97500. i.e.about 41%.

The New York Times reports that from the 9 subspecies of Giraffe 5 species are declining and 2 are improving and 1 is stable in the numbers.

These fascinating animals are killed for enormous reasons mainly they are hunted for their meat and tails.

Their tails are used for making experience gifts and are taken to be lucky, so in a desire of having good luck bracelets, fly whisks, dream catcher or the threads of stringing beads and too even for sewing, these beautiful animals are hunted.

There are some steps which can be taken to save them from being extinct -

  • Reforesting acacia trees near.
  • Solving Sudan hunger problem as if it would be done Sudan people will not hunt them for meat and
  • Reversing climate changes that are rising temperatures and causing drought in Africa and
  • By applying sustainable agriculture near their habitats.

This silent extinction can be proved dangerous to other living creatures​ too.

Rhythm Dhami

A deep-rooted person who has made an investigation of regular history since childhood or so - longer than I can recollect. An interest in wildlife has developed into wonder with all of nature, and an unquenchable interest to take in more..

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