Intriguing Giraffe Facts


Here are some fascinating giraffe facts that you may not have known…

  • The giraffe is one of the most easily recognized and loved Kenyan animals. This majestic tall blond roams the savanna with its extra-long neck and graceful stride.
  • A male giraffe is called a bull, a female a cow and a baby a calf. A group of giraffes is called a herd.
  • The scientific name for the giraffe is Giraffa camelopardalis, because the ancient Romans believed that, owing to its patches and height, it was a leopard and camel crossbreed.
  • 3 giraffe species occur in Kenya. These are the common Masai giraffe, the striking reticulated giraffe that is found in the northern reaches of Kenya and the gravely endangered Rothschild giraffe.
  • About 45,000 of the world’s 140,000 giraffes live in Kenya. As the habitat of nearly one-third of the world’s giraffe population, Kenya is home to the largest giraffe population in the world.
  • The giraffe is the tallest terrestrial mammal and can attain a height of 18 feet. That is more than 3 average men standing on top of each other.
  • A male giraffe can weigh up to 2,600 lbs and a female giraffe more that 1,800 lbs. The male giraffe therefore weighs far more than 10 average men put together.
  • The giraffes’ long necks are critical to their survival as they allow them to eat the moist leaves on top of trees that they wouldn’t otherwise reach. Males, in addition, use their necks as weapons against other male giraffes.
  • Because giraffes are ruminants, they have a four-chamber stomach that allows them to regurgitate and re-chew their food.
  • Although it is rare to hear, giraffes make sounds. A giraffe will, in fact, moo, hiss, whistle, and even roar when communicating with other giraffes.
  • Another of the fascinating giraffe facts relates to its blood pressure. Giraffes are known to have the highest recorded blood pressure of any mammal which is about twice the normal blood pressure of a human being. This is because the giraffe’s heart has to pump blood at a much higher pressure to enable it to move up the long neck in order to reach the brain.
  • Owing to this organ’s enormous duties and responsibilities, the giraffe has one of the biggest hearts in the animal kingdom. This measures 2 feet and weighs a mind-boggling 25 lbs.
  • While female giraffes travel in herds, the males are solitary animals that only meet up with female herds to breed.
  • The giraffe’s gestation period is lasts 14-15 months. Females give birth while standing, usually to a single calf, but occasionally to twins.
  • The giraffe can eat up to 140 lbs of food a day with its favorite meal being the Acacia leaves.
  • Giraffes are very light sleepers and sleep for between 20 minutes to 2 hours a day.
  • Both male and female giraffes grow horns, called Ossicones. The males’ are thicker and are occasionally used to fight other males.
  • Even though giraffes are tall, they can run at a speed of 34 miles per hour.
  • Another of the fascinating giraffe facts is that these elegant Kenya animals can live up to 25 years in the wild and 30 years in captivity.