The Borneo Post - Good English

Giraffles are tallest land animals


Giraffes are the tallest land animals on earth thanks in part to their distinctiv­e necks which alone can reach almost two meters in height.

Here is more about their habitat and other fun facts.

• A male giraffe can weigh as much as a pick up truck! That’s about 1400 kilograms.

• Although a giraffe’s neck is 1.5 – 1.8 metres, it contains the same number of vertebrae as a human neck.

• A giraffe’s habitat is usually found in African savannas, grasslands or open woodlands.

• The hair that makes up a giraffes tail is about 10 times thicker than the average strand of human hair.

• The distinctiv­e spots that cover a giraffe’s fur act as a good camouflage to protect the giraffe from predators. When the giraffe stands in front of trees and bushes the light and dark colouring of its fur blends in with the shadows and sunlight.

• It is possible to identify the sex of the giraffe from the horns on its head. Both males and females have horns but the females are smaller and covered with hair at the top. Male giraffes may have up to three additional horns.

• Giraffes are ruminants. This means that they have more than one stomach. In fact, giraffes have four stomachs, the extra stomachs assisting with digesting food.

• Drinking is one of the most dangerous times for a giraffe. While it is getting a drink it cannot keep a look out for predators and is vulnerable to attack.

• Male giraffes sometimes fight with their necks over female giraffes. This is called “necking”. The two giraffes stand side by side and one giraffe swings his head and neck, hitting his head against the other giraffe. Sometimes one giraffe is hit to the ground during a combat.

• A female giraffe gives birth while standing up. The calf drops approximat­ely six feet to the ground, but it is not hurt from the fall.

• Giraffes have bluish-purple tongues which are tough and covered in bristly hair to help them with eating the thorny Acacia trees. Many species of deer have been hunted over the years for their antlers.

A male deer is usually called a ‘buck’. A large male deer is often called ‘stag’. A female deer is usually called a ‘doe’.

A young deer is usually called a ‘fawn’.

A group of deer is known as a ‘herd’.

Deer have long legs typically suited to the environmen­ts they live in.

They can jump high and swim well.

Most deer are born with white spots but lose them within a year.

Deer take their first steps within half an hour of their birth.

Young deer will usually stay with their mother for around a year.

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