Mammal

Giraffe

Area: 
Africa, south of the Sahara Desert
Habitat: 
Savanna
Food: 
Acacia leaves
Size: 
Males, up to 18 feet tall; females, up to 14 feet tall
Babies: 
Calves are 6 feet tall at birth!
A giraffe's feet are the size of a dinner plate—12 inches across.
Hello Up There!

 

Giraffes are the tallest land animals. A giraffe could look into a second-story window without even having to stand on its tiptoes! A giraffe's 6-foot-long neck weighs about 600 pounds. The legs of a giraffe are also 6 feet long. The back legs look shorter than the front legs, but they are about the same length. 

 

There is only one speciesA group of individuals that have many of the same characteristics, and are different from all other animals in some important way. Hamsters and mice are two different species of rodent. of giraffe. The recognized subspeciesA subdivision of a plant or animal species that shows differences from others of the same species. For example, there is a species of animal called lion; there are two subspecies of lion, the African lion and the Asian lion. include reticulatedThis word means looks like a net, and is used to describe the pattern on the skin of some animals. For example, there are reticulated giraffes and reticulated pythons., Nubian, Uganda or Baringo, Masai, Angolan, and southern. The different kinds can be recognized by their spots and also by where they live in Africa. Masai giraffes, from Kenya, have spots that look like oak leaves. Other kinds have a square-shaped pattern that looks like the giraffe is covered by a net. Some zoologists think that the giraffe's pattern is for camouflageThe color or pattern of an animal's covering that is similar to the animal's surroundings, and therefore helps hide it. May also be related to smell, as in lions rolling in elephant dung to camouflage their scent..

 

Both male and female giraffes have two distinct, hair-covered hornsGrowths on the head of an antelope, cow, sheep, or goat that are never shed. called ossiconesHair-covered horns found on the heads of giraffes. Ossicones are made of bone and are part of the skull.. Male giraffes use their hornsGrowths on the head of an antelope, cow, sheep, or goat that are never shed. to playfully fight with one another.