Giraffes are the world's tallest living land animals. Their name means "camel with leopard print" in Latin.
Giraffes inhabit tropical and subtropical savannas, thickets, open acacia woodlands, arid and open savannas, and semi-desert areas with few trees. It is a herbivore and takes leaves and twigs as its staple food. Giraffes live about 27 years in the wild and more than 29 years in zoos.
Native to Africa, mainly from sub-Saharan to South Africa in eastern Transvaal, Natal, and northern Botswana. Has disappeared from most of West Africa, except for a small remnant in Niger. Giraffes have been reintroduced to the game in South Africa. It is the national animal of South Africa.
The giraffe family is the most distinctive group of Artiodactyla, with teeth of the primitive, low-crowned type. They can't feed on grass, they can only feed on leaves. The giraffe has a long tongue, which can be used for feeding. The head has short horns, which are covered with hairy skin. The family Giraffidae is currently distributed only in Africa, with 2 species.
The giraffe has a pair of big brown eyes, the eyes are protruding, and can rotate around. They have a wide field of vision, like a living "watchtower", and can see movement in the distance. Giraffes are fast runners, which are also trained in the competition for survival. When running, the posture is very special, first stretching the head and neck forward, and then retracting, alternating swing.
Quadruped walking is different from other animals, with two legs on one side and two legs on the other side alternating forward, jumping-like. The limbs can be kicked around the front and back, hitting a wide range of power. If an adult lion is unlucky enough to be kicked, it can break a leg and a waist.
They are social animals. Sometimes with zebras, ostriches, and antelopes. Acute sense of smell and hearing. Usually walking leisurely, but running fast, the top speed can reach 70 kilometers per hour. Foraging at dawn and dusk. In the wild, mainly eat a variety of leaves, especially mimosa leaves.
The giraffe's morphological characteristics make it difficult for a giraffe to drink water. For giraffes living in the African savannah, it is very difficult to drink water once. First, you have to determine if there are any enemies around, and then you can kneel on your front legs, bow your head, and drink. This environment made it extremely thirsty.
A giraffe normally eats 63 kilograms of leaves and twigs a day. They get all the water they need from leaves and shoots and can go a year without drinking water when the leaves are hydrated.
Giraffes sleep very little, usually only two hours a night. Sleep sometimes puts them at risk. Giraffes sleep standing up most of the time. Because of their long necks, giraffes often rest their heads on branches when they sleep to avoid excessive neck fatigue.
Like elephants, giraffes lie down when they enter the sleep phase, which lasts about 20 minutes. It takes giraffes a full minute to get up from the ground, making them less able to escape during sleep.
When a giraffe sleeps on its stomach, its two front legs and one hind leg are bent under its stomach, and the other hind leg is extended to one side. Its long neck is arched backward, bringing its horn head to the outstretched hind leg, with its lower jaw resting against its calves.
Giraffes are very timid, and this scientific sleeping position can not only narrow the target but also provide a quick escape in case of emergency.