The giraffe is the tallest land animal in the world. This enables it to look for food high in the crowns of trees. They eat locust leaves which they strip off with their tongue and lips. The giraffe’s thick skin and hairy muzzle provide protection against the piercing thorns.
Giraffes live in loosely structured herds with no lasting bonds, and animals come and go constantly. The advantage of being in a herd is that many animals are keeping a watchful eye out for enemies, such as lions.
The giraffe lives on the African savannah south of the Sahara, which has the largest number of large mammals in the entire world. This is due to the ideal growth conditions for plants and the fact that each of the wide variety of animal species exploits different parts of the plants. As a result, many different animals can live in the same area. Unfortunately, the animals of the savannah are coming under increasing pressure from humans and their domestic animals, which graze vast areas, because domesticated cattle do not exploit the grassland as well as the wild animals do. But utilising the wild animals instead of owning domestic cattle would require a substantial cultural shift, even if this would benefit humankind and wild animals alike in the long term.
4.5 – 5.8 metres
800 – 1,900 kg
Primarily wooded savannah or scrubland plains.
Number of offspring:
Giraffes are leaf-eating ruminants. Their primary source of nutrition consists of leaves and buds from a wide variety of locust trees.