The fact that the tallest mammal worldwide is the giraffe is well known already, but it also needs to be mentioned that even the baby giraffes are taller than the majority of humans.
After about fourteen months of gestation for the mother, live giraffe babies are born in a rather peculiar way: they basically fall on the ground directly on their heads from a height of about two meters. Despite this, the people in the zoo in San Diego say that this is not as bad as it looks, but even it allows the baby’s first breath to be quite deep. The little giraffe baby is able to stand and walk no more than one hour after the birth.
At birth, the giraffes have about two meters height and between forty five and seventy kilos weight. By the time they reach four years of life the baby giraffes can be considered adults. While female giraffes can reach an average weight of seven hundred kilos and little above four meters in height, the male giraffes can reach one thousand four hundred kilos weight and five and a half meters height. The growth in height and weight takes place mostly in the first three years after the birth.
Newborn giraffes are able to drink milk from their mothers within sixty minutes after birth and they keep feeding like this for about half a year. Next they start eating leaves from tree and, should the babies not reach the leaves of available trees in the area, they receive help from their mothers who will pull off leaves for them. An adult giraffe eats up to forty kilos of food during about eighteen hours daily.
The mothers are the first to provide care for their newborn giraffe babies. Usually only one calf is born at once, which allows the mother to concentrate all caring efforts in a single direction, which consist of feeding, cleaning and providing the first lessons about life in general. Should the mother leave a certain place, the baby giraffe will patiently wait for her to return in the same place. Interesting fact is that sometimes when a mother is away, other giraffe females are taking care of the newborn in her absence.
Having long neck and legs, as well as a specific body pattern with spots, the giraffes were the subject of a speculation that they are in fact a mix between a camel and a leopard. Moreover, even the scientific term for giraffe is relevant in this direction: Giraffa camelopardalis.
The main habitats for the giraffes are the savannahs in the Sahara areas of Africa. Being so tall allows them to reach leaves in trees which aren’t within reach for other animals. A long and agile tongue allows them to easily collect the leaves from branches, especially from acacia trees which are their favorites.
The males are heavier and taller than the females when it comes to giraffes. Both the male and female have some sort of knobs on their heads. They are skin covered and bear some fur tufts at the top for females, while being bold at males. Their main role is to protect the head, especially during the ‘neckings’, true displays of strength carried out by males which involve neck swinging at one another.