Giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) are the tallest mammals in the world. The adults can measure up to 6 meters in height and weigh a maximum of 2,000 kg, dimensions that combined with their fur give them a unique and beautiful appearance. Each species and subspecies that lives today has a different coat design. And we can say even more: Each giraffe has a unique pattern that is never repeated in another individual, just like our fingerprints.
They are uniquely adapted to reach vegetation inaccessible to other herbivores. Its unusually elastic blood vessels and specially adapted valves help compensate for the sudden pool of blood (to avoid fainting, clearly) when giraffe heads are raised, lowered, or swayed rapidly.
Despite the fact that they are so large is a widespread fact, many people are unaware of the characteristics that surround these land animals. Despite their impressive stature, giraffes keep a relatively low profile, often silently chewing leaves in the background. while other animals get the attention. However, these animals are increasingly threatened that they need our help to avoid disappearing in the wild.
Did you know that their “horns” are actually bumps covered in skin and hair above the eyes that protect the head from injury? Called osicones. It turns out that giraffes are one of the few species that are born with a set of these “hairy” horns. Another example is the male okapi (Okapia johnstoni).
Another curiosity: their necks contain the same number of vertebrae as us (seven), except that their bones are extremely elongated, which makes their neck about 2.4 meters long.
And while it is true that Africa is home to many iconic animals, one of the most fun species to see on safari is none other than the giraffe.. With always graceful movements, watching a giraffe live is truly exciting.
Do you know how many types of giraffes there are? There are four species that embellish African landscapes, and although they are similar to each other, each one has its own characteristics that with a little attention we can learn to differentiate. Today we will meet them.