By Nkosinomusa Nyoni
There is more to this exciting animal than meets the eye. Did you know, despite giraffes’ being incredibly tall, they only have seven vertebrae in their necks- which means a giraffe’s neck has the exact number of bones as a human neck! Read 5 more exciting facts about the world’s tallest land mammal:
2. Save water, save lives
Whilst they may eat a lot, giraffes don’t drink much water. This is because they get most of their water from their leafy meals, and only need to drink once every few days.
3. Where it all began and the big drop
Female giraffes often return to where they were born to give birth. Once there, the females give birth whilst standing up. The result? Their calves receive a rough welcome to the world with a 1.5m drop to the ground! Ouch! But, these infants are quick to get on their feet – within 30 minutes they are standing, and only hours later they are able to run with their mothers.
4. Impressive Tongues
Giraffes’ tongues can be up to 20 inches long and are darkly colored, the color of their tongues is an adaptation to their environment. Their tongues are often out and exposed to the sun, this melanin acts as a sort of natural sunscreen to help protect them during frequent sun-exposure.
5. Fitness Junkies
Giraffes spend most of their lives standing up; they even sleep and give birth standing up, they act this way because of their vulnerability to predators.
6. No sleep game too strong
Giraffes only need 5 to 30 minutes of sleep in a 24-hour period! They often achieve that in quick naps that may last only a minute or two at a time