Giraffe

Scientific name :
Giraffa camelopardalis
Class :
Mammals
Order :
Artiodactyla
Family :
Giraffidae

The giraffe’s most highly developed sense is its sight. It can spot a man from 2 km away. Some people believe it can distinguish between different colours: red, orange, yellow, green and purple.

 

Geographic distribution of Rothschild’s giraffe

Rothschild’s giraffes are found in Sudan, Uganda and Kenya.

 

Gait

The giraffe has a slow and supple gait. At each step, it raises both legs on the same side, which is known as a pacing gait. At a gallop, it can reach 56 km/h.

 

The giraffe’s tongue

The giraffe’s mouth contains a tool that is unique to the animal world: its black sticky tongue measures 50 cm in length and slips between the sharp thorns of the acacia tree to reach the most nourishing buds. Giraffes spend more than 12 hours every day grazing in this way.

 

Reproduction

Giraffes reproduce all year round. Females are in heat for one day every two weeks. To determine whether a female is in heat, the male tastes her urine; this action is known as the flehmen response. Females give birth to their first calf at the age of 5. This lasts around 1 to 2 hours. Because the mother remains upright, the calf must endure a sudden drop of almost 2 m.

Did you know?

Due to gravity and in order to irrigate its brain, which lies 2 m above its heart, the giraffe’s blood pressure is three times higher than our own. 76 litres of blood are dispatched to the brain each minute!
Savannah and steppes
Height: female: 4.30 m (2.70 to withers)
male: 5.30 m (3.30 m to withers)
at birth: 2 m
Weight: 800 to 1300 kg.
Young shoots, tender leaves, sprays or fresh spines, bark, fruit from trees, climbing plants or creepers. Acacias, mimosaceae
Longevity: around 25 years.
Gestation: 15 months. 1 offspring.
Weight at birth: 50 to 70 kg
Sexual maturity: female: 3 to 3.5 years.
male: 2 to 2.5 years.
European protection programme

Les programmes européens EEP d'élevage et de conservation d'espèces menacées sont apparus en 1985. Un tel programme a pour but d'encourager, de surveiller... Find out more

Conservation status

stable menacé très menacé

Image name
Educational Presentation Find out more