Giraffe Facts and Photos

by MBC

Little known facts about giraffes as well as some fun giraffe photos.

Did you know that a giraffe can actually use it's long tongue to clean it's own ears? Yes, it's true they have about an18-inch tongue!

The giraffe's Latin name came from the fact that they have spots like a leopard and are shaped like the camel - thus the name Giraffa camelopardalis. The giraffe part means "fast walker."

How fast can a giraffe gallop?

Answer: 34 miles per hour or 55 kilometers per hour

Because of the unique body design of a giraffe, they are unable to swim.

Most types of giraffe are not endangered, but there are some that are, we'll cover that too. They did once live in the wild in North Africa but now the majority of giraffes live either in national parks, zoos or game reserves because man has used most of their habitat for farmland. In Africa today, many of the farmers don't mind giraffes too much because they do not compete with other animals such as cows for food (since the giraffe's food is way up high in the tops of trees). But if the giraffe kicks down the fence they are likely to be shot.

Photo credit by Tsering Dickey Ghale

Did you know?

A giraffe has 7 neck bones, just like humans have 7 vertibrae in our necks.  It's just that the giraffe's bones are much longer.

In the Giraffe House - a Photo Taken by Me at the Denver Zoo

In the Giraffe House
In the Giraffe House

A Female Rothschild Giraffe was Born

There are only 670 of this endangered Rochschild species of giraffe. This one was born at the LEO Zoological Conservation Center in Connecticut. This reserve is NOT open to the public, it is a private preserve, but is open to large contributors and educational groups or charities.

Lord Walter Rothschild, a British zoologist, first named this species of giraffe following an expedition to Africa in the early 1900s. The Rothschild giraffes species is classified as endangered by the IUCN Red List, because there are so few left in the wild in Kenya and Uganda at this time.

Did you know that giraffe mom's give birth standing up? Yes, that's true.

A Sweet Giraffe Charm for Your Niece or Grandchild

Watch this Rothschild Giraffe Baby Stand for the First Time

Just darling! It takes a few tries on those skinny little legs, but it makes it. Most newborn calves will be able to stand within 20 minutes after being born. They need to stand so that they can drink from their mother. After around 15 months the calf will stop nursing. If the calf is a male, it is called a bull.

Notice the mom’s long-haired tail? Often poachers will kill a giraffe to harvest their tail which they sell as a switch to kill flies. Once they kill the giraffe and take the tail, most of the time they leave the body for scavengers. In Africa the local people do still hunt giraffe and one will feed a village for quite some time – lots of meat here.

The mom giraffe’s name is Petal.

Kids Love Puzzles

Here is a Cute Giraffe Puzzle

A Sweet Giraffe Patterned Crib Sheet

For that Baby Shower

Giraffe Crib Sheet

Giraffes Have Very High Blood Pressure

Their large heart must work very hard to pump the blood all the way up that LONG neck to their head! In fact, every minute the giraffe heart pumps 19 gallons or 73 liters of blood. Their hearts are very powerful. The giraffe’s body is built with a series of valves in their neck to keep the blood from draining back down. These valves keep the giraffe from fainting due to lack of oxygen to the brain.

Often a grown giraffe’s legs are longer than a tall man of 6′.

Graphic by Lauri Kaihlanen

Giraffes use their long necks as a form of protection. They tend to stay in groups and face different directions. Because their heads are so high they can see predators creeping up to ambush them. They have little competition for food except from monkeys who also eat in the top of trees.

A Giraffe Photo taken by Me!


Dobby Was Born Last Spring at the Denver Zoo

This shows Dobby Running Around

Find a Giraffe Treasure

Giraffe Sculptures at the Entrance to the Denver Zoo

Did you know you can now feed the giraffes at the Denver Zoo?
Photo credit: Marsha Camblin Copyrighted, please do not re-use
Photo credit: Marsha Camblin Copyrighted, please do not re-use

The Four Species of Giraffes

All giraffes live in Africa and many people think there is only one species of giraffe, but there are actually 4 species which include:  Rothschild Giraffe (the tallest), the Masai Giraffe, the Somali Giraffe (what we usually see at Zoos), and the West African Giraffe sometimes called the Nigerian Giraffe.  We can identify their species by the genes and also by the distinct patterns on their skins.

Gift Your Child or Grandchild this Fun Plush

Click on the Blue Buy It at Nordstrom text to Purchase
Bashful Giraffe Plush
Bashful Giraffe Plush

Who Could Resist These Giraffe Earrings?

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A Photo of Omo
A Photo of Omo

Omo the White Giraffe

At Tarangire National Park in Tanzania there lives a rare white giraffe named Omo.  Omo is not an albino, but she does stand out and is easily seen.  She actually has a rare condition called leucism which causes her lack of pigment.  This of course puts her in danger of hunters. According to Dr. Derek Lee,  "Only about 50% of calves born survive their first year." Omo is lucky to have made it past her first birthday.  She lives on a refuge  the Wild Nature Institute and which started something called the Project GIRAFFE in 2011,  They have developed some software that helps them to recognize one giraffe from another from their spots.

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Updated: 10/29/2019, MBC
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Comments: Have you ever seen a giraffe outside of a zoo?

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MBC on 07/03/2015

Yes, you are right.

CruiseReady on 07/02/2015

What a wonderful video of the baby giraffe standing for the first time. It seemed to have known instinctively that that was just what it needed to do.

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