© copyright 2003-2020 Study.com. [45][46][50]:29[64] The long neck results from a disproportionate lengthening of the cervical vertebrae, not from the addition of more vertebrae. They swing their necks towards each other and the one which remains standing is the winner and wins mating rights for that area. [49]:78–79 It is common for a giraffe to salivate while feeding. Mothers in such a group may sometimes leave their calves with one female while they forage and drink elsewhere. Services, Working Scholars® Bringing Tuition-Free College to the Community. Male giraffes can be up to 5.5 metres tall and weigh up to 1,360 kilograms. [17], There are several hypotheses regarding the evolutionary origin and maintenance of elongation in giraffe necks. A sensation, the giraffe was the subject of numerous memorabilia or "giraffanalia". The giraffe's chief distinguishing characteristics are its extremely long neck and legs, its horn-like ossicones, and its distinctive coat patterns. [8], The giraffe is one of only two living genera of the family Giraffidae in the order Artiodactyla, the other being the okapi. Males establish social hierarchies through "necking", which are combat bouts where the neck is used as a weapon. [14], After a duel, it is common for two male giraffes to caress and court each other. [107] In turn, it has been suggested that other ungulates may benefit from associating with giraffes as their height allows them to spot predators from further away. Is the giraffe native to the United States? Its scattered range extends from Chad in the north to South Africa in the south, and from Niger in the west to Somalia in the east. Earn Transferable Credit & Get your Degree, Get access to this video and our entire Q&A library. [87][88][89][90] The number of giraffes in a group can range from 1 up to 66 individuals. Giraffa camelopardalis peralta Lokojya, [50]:29 The point of articulation between the cervical and thoracic vertebrae of giraffes is shifted to lie between the first and second thoracic vertebrae (T1 and T2), unlike most other ruminants where the articulation is between the seventh cervical vertebra (C7) and T1. [91] A courting male may lick a female's tail, rest his head and neck on her body or nudge her with his horns. Each giraffe has its own unique coat pattern just like humans have different fingerprint patterns. Male giraffes assess female fertility by tasting the female's urine to detect oestrus, in a multi-step process known as the flehmen response. The southern giraffe has two subspecies: – Angolan giraffe (G. g. Angolensis) Spermatogenesis in male giraffes begins at three to four years of age. Copyright  © The Animal Facts 2020. Male giraffes may participate in a process known as necking as a means of establishing dominance. Kordofan, about 10° N, 28° E (as fixed by Harper, 1940). Although other researchers tried to assign different scientific names, finally this one became the official. More than 1,600 were kept in zoos in 2010. Owen-Smith, R.N. [7][66], The giraffe's neck vertebrae have ball and socket joints. [86] Calves are at risk of predation, and a mother giraffe will stand over her calf and kick at an approaching predator. [50]:81, Giraffes continue to have a presence in modern culture. [42], Giraffes are usually found in groups that vary in size and composition according to ecological, anthropogenic, temporal, and social factors. Morten Thrane Brünnich classified the genus Giraffa in 1762. [42][91] Females become sexually mature when they are four years old, while males become mature at four or five years. [108], Some parasites feed on giraffes. Only one percent of same-sex mounting incidents occurred between females. [50]:27 The upper lip of the giraffe is also prehensile and useful when foraging, and is covered in hair to protect against thorns. [73][74], In mammals, the left recurrent laryngeal nerve is longer than the right; in the giraffe it is over 30 cm (12 in) longer. [50]:52 With the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the housing of giraffes in Europe declined. [95], The length time in which offspring stay with their mother varies, though it can last until the female's next calving. [44][45][46] Within a few hours of birth, the calf can run around and is almost indistinguishable from a one-week-old. camelopardalis). [7] When it has access to water, a giraffe drinks at intervals no longer than three days. [72] It has also been proposed that the neck serves to give the animal greater vigilance. Adult females have a multilevel social structure where local preferences in associations among individuals scale up to a number of distinct, but spatially overlapping, social communities, that can be viewed as a large interconnected metapopulation. [49]:70 However, as males age, their skulls become heavier and more club-like, helping them become more dominant in combat. [11] Samotherium was a particularly important transitional fossil in the giraffe lineage as its cervical vertebrae was intermediate in length and structure between a modern giraffe and an okapi, and was more vertical than the okapi's. [42], Giraffe gestation lasts 400–460 days, after which a single calf is normally born, although twins occur on rare occasions. Scientific Name:              Giraffa Camelopardalis. The power of a blow depends on the weight of the skull and the arc of the swing. Familia: Giraffidae Genus: Giraffa Species: Giraffa tippelskirchi The name "giraffe" has its earliest known origins in the Arabic word zarāfah (زرافة),[2] perhaps borrowed from the animal's Somali name geri.

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