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Monday, 25 June 2012

The Tallest Land Animal in the World: The Giraffe


The Giraffe is the tallest animal in the world. Males may be 16-18 feet tall and weigh up to 2,000 pounds. Females are usually lighter and about two feet shorter. The giraffe's front legs are only slightly longer than the back ones, the height of the fore part of the body being largely due to the heavy muscular development of the base of the neck. The long neck has the usual seven vertebrae of most mammals, although each is greatly elongated. The giraffe's soup-plate-sized hooves are used as offensive weapons, usually in the defense of the calves. The powerful kick from the front feet can kill a lion.


There are nine recognized subspecies of giraffe. They are:
  o   Nigerian giraffe
  o   Nubian giraffe
  o   Baringo giraffe
  o   Masai giraffe
  o   Reticulated giraffe
  o   Thornicroft's giraffe
  o   Kordofan giraffe
  o   Angolan giraffe
  o   Southern giraffe .
 They live in scattered geographic regions in Africa, and have differing color patterns.

Giraffes are highly selective feeders, the bulk of their diet comprising the leaves and shoots of trees and shrubs, supplemented by climbers, vines and some herbs.


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