Make giraffes like humans

Giraffe (detailed version - text is read aloud)

The giraffe - the tallest animal in the world


With its long neck, the giraffe is one of the most sensational animals in the world.

Together with the okapi, it belongs to the giraffe family. To distinguish it from the okapi, the giraffe is also called a long-necked giraffe or steppe giraffe.

The eight known subspecies of the long-necked giraffe differ among other things in the color of their fur and the expression of their antlers.

distribution and habitat

Giraffes now only live in sub-Saharan Africa in the dry bush and tree savannahs as far as South Africa. In the past the giraffes also lived north of the Sahara, but here they were exterminated by humans a long time ago.

Giraffes prefer to stay in areas of the savannah where there are many trees and bushes.

Appearance and build

The giraffe is particularly noticeable because of its long legs and very long neck. When fully straightened, she can reach a shoulder height of 3.30 meters, and the distance from the floor to the head is often more than 5.5 meters. This makes the giraffe the tallest animal that lives in the world.

The giraffe's body reaches one length of up to four meters. your Weight is more than 700 kg, with the females remaining on average slightly smaller than the males.

The front legs are longer than their rear legs, so the back drops sharply.

The exceptionally long one neck the giraffes consists - as with most mammals - only of seven cervical vertebrae. However, these cervical vertebrae each have a length of about 40 cm and are supported by very strong neck muscles.

The long neck poses a major challenge to a giraffe's circulatory system.

Therefore, the animals have a particularly powerful heart, which has a weight of 12 kg. It can pump 60 liters of blood per minute through the giraffe's body and thus ensures a blood pressure that is three times higher than that of humans.

Also the 40 to 50 cm long, bluish, muscular and extremely agile tongue is a striking feature of the giraffe. With her she is able to pluck her food from the branches of the trees and bushes.

The giraffe has slit-shaped Nostrilsthat can be locked.

Your big ones - and called by many people - as meek eyes have long eyelashes on their lids.

The Ears the giraffes are pointed, narrow and quite short for their enormous body size.

Both the male and female animals have a pair covered with skin horns on the forehead and sometimes a second, smaller pair further back on the top of the head.

In some giraffes, an additional horn cone grows between these two pairs of horns. The antlers of the bulls are about 25 cm long, significantly larger than those of the giraffe cows.

The light brown to ocher fur shows irregular dark brown to black pattern of spots, which clearly stand out from the lighter basic color.

On the belly side, the fur is lighter and unstained. The patterns on the coat can vary in shape and size depending on the subspecies and region. The smell of the coat is unpleasant for humans. The bull giraffe smell stronger than cow giraffe.

The one up to a meter long tail ends in a black tassel with a tuft of long hair. The giraffe can use its tail to drive away annoying flies and other insects.