Reticulated Giraffe

ANIMAL:
Reticulated Giraffe Giraffa reticulata

Type of Animal:
Giraffe

Habitat:
Savanna, grassland, woodland, plains, scrub, forests (not rainforests)

Location(s):
N. Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia

Appearance:
Very distinctive, tall animal. Bulls taller, heavier, & darker than cows. Large, liver-colored spots on coat. Horns known as ossicones formed from ossified cartilage present on both sexes. Larger ossicones on bull. Tufts of hair on top of cow’s horns, bald on top of bull’s horns.

Food/Diet:
Twigs, tree thorns, leaves, fruit, grasses, trees, bushes, shoots, vines, herbs, shrubs. Have been recorded consuming up to 1000 different kinds of trees but all-time favorite is leaves and twigs from acacia trees.

Status in Wild:
Endangered

Conservation:
Breeding in zoos and wildlife parks

Lifestyle:
Found in herds of 10-30 animals, led by dominant bull. Many bulls found in bachelor herds of 5-15 animals. Some older bulls solitary.

Additional Info:

Called:
Male-Bull
Female-Cow
Young-Calf
Group-Herd/Tower

Weight:
Male-2,420-4,250 lbs
Female-1,540-2,600 lbs
Young-300 lbs

Gestation:
15 months

Height:
Male-18 ft
Female-15 ft
Young-8 ft

Body Length:
12.5-15.4 ft

Life Span: 
25-30 years

Tail Length:
2.5-3.3 ft

Main predators of adults are lions, crocodiles, & hyenas. Leopards, wild dogs, & cheetahs prey on calves.

Bulls fight by necking, which is generally highly ritualized.

Giraffes have very strong kick able to decapitate a lion.

Even though calves have protection from mothers, up to 58% die from predators before they turn a year old.

Giraffes generally very docile animals.

Declining in wild due to habitat loss, disease, & hunting for meat/hide/tails.

One of tallest land animals in the world.

Fun Fact(s):
Have excellent hearing & sight-in fact, they can spot a moving person a mile away.

Calves can run after only a few hours at birth, though typically they’re kept hidden by mom.

Giraffe tails prized as fly-whisks & good luck bracelets in parts of Africa.

Giraffes have 7 vertebrae just like humans.

Can run up to 35 mph.

They can go weeks w/o drinking water, since they get most moisture from food.

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