Saturday, April 7, 2012

G is for Giraffes

Ok, so today I will have 2 posts for the letter G.   This one, on Giraffes, is a special one my friends daughter asked if I would do. So M, this one is for you!

I remember seeing giraffes at the zoo when I was little.  I was always interested in them, especially those little knobs at the top of their heads. Plus they were from Africa where they have all those other cool animals like lions, rhinos, elephants, etc.  In researching for this post I found out a whole lot more than I ever knew as a kid.  
The Nigerian Giraffe has a light
complexion with rectangular spots

First did you know that there is more then just one kind of giraffe? There are actually 9 subspecies and you can tell them apart by their coat patterns? They are the Nigerian giraffe, the Nubian giraffe, the Baringo, or Rothschild's giraffe, the Maasai giraffe, the Reticulated giraffe, Thornicroft's giraffe, Kordofan giraffe, Angolan giraffe and the Southern giraffe.         Also each adult giraffe has an individual coat pattern.
Ossicones...weird huh?
Plus those bumps on the top of their heads? They're called  ossicones.  They are similar to horns, but they never lose their skin covering. Also they never are shed, like the horns of deer.  Another interesting fact is that they can be used to tell the difference between male and female giraffe.  Females have tufts of hair at the top, while males don't. Some giraffes even have more than two, some have even had up to 5!    
As for their long necks, they actually have the same number of vertebrae as other animals, just much MUCH  longer!

Giraffes are herbavores, meaning they don't eat meat.  One of their favorite foods is the thorny acacia tree.  Their lips tongues and mouths are specially covered to protect them from thorns. The tongue and lips are also prehensile, which help them get around those thorns even better. The tongue itself can be up to 17 inches long.   Plus they can close their nostrils to keep the bugs from the trees out!

These are just a few of the interesting facts I found out about giraffes. (Some of the useful places I went to were here and here)  I hope you enjoyed them as much as I have!  Know of some other fun facts? or cute giraffe pics? Feel free to share in the comments!  
As for M, I hope you liked the post, however now every time I think of you I will also think of giraffes, so I do hope you like them.  


  1. Ha, first comment on yours for today. I'm honored! I agree, giraffes are beautiful, and looks so gentle and graceful. Really interesting post. Now, I gotta be on my way. Nice to visit with you. More people to visit. Ruby

  2. My four-year-old is happy we found your blog. His exact quote is "I love giraffes!" Great post! :)

    1. Thank you! Glad I could make you son smile! :)