Today at Light Future Art, we’re going to be sharing some fun facts about a wonderful animal which I have somehow missed doing a featured blog post on the giraffe!
1. Giraffe calves are small only in relation to their parents. The average calf is about six feet tall and weighs over 200 pounds. Yep, most adult humans are actually smaller than a newborn giraffe.
2. Giraffes need to eat over 70 pounds of food per day. Their diet consists of leaves and it is from this food that they get most of their water, as well. This is useful because drinking from groundwater sources puts the giraffe in a vulnerable position to predators.
3. Giraffes only need to drink about every three days because of all the water they get from their food.
4. The small fur-covered horns that giraffes have are called ossicones. They occasionally use them to fight for dominance. Giraffes are born with their ossicones but they haven’t fused to the skull right away so as to not cause injuries while being born.
5. In a way that is rare among ungulates (hooved-animals) and quadrupeds in general, giraffes move the front and back leg on the same side of their body at the same time, like camels.
6. There are special valves connecting to the giraffe’s neck which regulate blood flow. These prevent brain damage due to the changes in blood pressure that would be associated with putting their head to the ground to drink and then putting their head up again. NASA has drawn inspiration from this part of their anatomy to design spacesuits.
7. The natural blood pressure of a giraffe is roughly twice that of an average human’s blood pressure.
8. Giraffe calves can start to stand on their own within an hour of being born and by the time they are a week old, the calves are able to begin eating plants rather than milk.
9. Giraffes hum to one another. In a study a few years ago, scientists found that giraffes made low, melodic humming sounds to one another after the sun set, perhaps as a way of staying in contact throughout the night.
10. Although a swimming giraffe has never been observed, scientists have used models to determine that a giraffe could be capable of swimming if need be in water deeper than nine feet. They probably wouldn’t be graceful about it, though.
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