Giraffes are the tallest of all land mammals, and grow up to 18 feet in height. They live in the grasslands of sub-Saharan Africa. This paper presents a fact sheet on the species.
Species: (Common name) giraffe (Biological name) Giraffa camelopardalis
Food: Giraffes are herbivores, and their long necks allow them to reach their preferred food: the leaves and shoots of mimosa and thorny acacia trees. They also feed on over 100 other plant species, depending on seasonal and local availability. During the dry season, they will eat practically any type of vegetation, including bark. Occasionally, an individual will eat carrion, and it is not unusual for giraffes to chew bones to get needed minerals. Giraffes rarely eat grasses, except in captivity. Although they can survive several days without it because the dew-laden foliage provides sufficient liquid for giraffes, they do need water for their survival. They are loathe to drink at waterholes because they have to spread their front legs so that their necks can bend for them to reach the water, and this leaves them in a vulnerable position to their only predator in the wild - the lion.
Habitat: Giraffes are found in a variety of habitats depending on the part of Africa in which they live, and can be found in the grasslands and thornbush of East Africa, the savanna (grasslands with scattered trees) which stretches across Africa's mid-continent, and areas of dry thornbush across Angola, South West Africa, Botswana, Rhodesia, and South Africa. Their distribution ia affected by the encroachment of man and his farming practices.
Social behavior: solitary x small group x large group x
Giraffes are individualistic, with each member of a herd wandering wherever it wishes. Herds generally range from two to 15 animals. Some herds consist of females, young of both sexes, and a mature bull. Others contain only females and their young, or are composed of "bac...