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Reticulated Giraffe
Status Low Risk
Diet Herbivore
Habitat
Fame
To unlock the reticulated giraffe in challenge or campaign games, you must earn a 2-1/2-star zoo fame rating for your zoo.

Description

  • The reticulated giraffe is one of the most striking subspecies of the giraffe, the tallest living animal, which is instantly recognizable by its exceptionally long neck. Male giraffes average about 5.3 m (17 ft) high, but some grow to a height of almost 6 m (20 ft)- tall enough to span two floors of a typical office building. Giraffes live in tree-scattered terrain in Africa.
  • Female giraffes give birth in one of several specific "calving areas" in their home ranges, returning to these grounds to bear subsequent calves even if the larger home range has drifted geographically. Strong and well-developed at birth, calves nonetheless frequently fall to predators in their first year of life.
  • After weaning, females stay within their mothers' territories, while males leave the range in all-male groups. Once a dominance hierarchy has been established among them, they wander alone in their own small ranges in search of females in heat. The sex of a grazing giraffe can be determined at a great distance with considerable accuracy. Almost invariably, males feed with their necks and often their tongues completely outstretched to reach the foliage of very tall trees. In contrast, females bend their heads over the tops of smaller trees.
  • The giraffe is the better known of two species in the giraffe family. The other species is the okapo an animal that was not even discovered by scientists until about 1900. Although much shorter than the giraffe, the okapi also has a long neck and eats leaves, and both animals have long tongues and skin-covered horns. The giraffe's ancestors first appeared in central Asia about 15 million years     ago, but the earliest fossil records of the giraffe itself, from Israel and Africa, date back about 1.5 million years.

Fun Facts

  • A giraffe's neck can be over 1.5 m (5 ft) in length, but it contains only seven vertebrae.
  • Adult giraffes have no enemies other than lions and humans, as their huge hooves are very effective in defending against predators.
  • Giraffes are not great travelers, despite their long legs. They cannot walk over swampy ground because their hooves quickly sink, and they very rarely wade across rivers.

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