The Giraffe.

One of my favourite animals that fascinates me beyond words… the giraffe… It stands 5–6 m (16–20 ft.) tall and has an average weight of 1,600 kg (3,500 lb.) for males and 830 kg (1,800 lb.) for females.

Despite its long neck and legs, the giraffe’s body is relatively short. Located at both sides of the head, the giraffe’s large, bulging eyes give it good all-round vision from its great height. Giraffes see in colour and their senses of hearing and smell are also sharp. The animal can close its muscular nostrils to protect against sandstorms and ants. The giraffe’s prehensile tongue is about 50 cm (20 in) long. It is purplish-black in colour, and is useful for grasping foliage, as well as for grooming and cleaning the animal’s nose. The upper lip of the giraffe is also prehensile and useful when foraging. The lips, tongue and inside of the mouth are covered in papillae to protect against thorns.

A giraffe has only two speeds: walking and galloping. Walking is done by moving the legs on one side of the body at the same time, then doing the same on the other side. When galloping, the hind legs move around the front legs before the latter move forward, and the tail will curl up. The animal relies on the forward and backward motions of its head and neck to maintain balance and the counter momentum while galloping. The giraffe can reach a sprint speed of up to 60 km/h (37 mph), and can sustain 50 km/h (31 mph) for several kilometres.

There is just too much to tell you about this ungainly looking animal that is a marvel of nature…

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I love this photo above… “whatcu doing?”

and below a big male..

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