Game details:

  • Description They are a large, hoofed animal and is the tallest living terrestrial animal on earth. They live in bushy plains, usually in herds and have very good eyesight.

The giraffe’s chief distinguishing characteristics are its extremely long neck and legs, its horn-like ossicones, and its spotted coat patterns. It is classified under the family Giraffidae, along with its closest extant relative, the okapi. 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. Giraffes usually inhabit savannahs and woodlands. Their food source is leaves, fruits, and flowers of woody plants, primarily acacia species, which they browse at heights most other herbivores cannot reach.

Lions, leopards, spotted hyenas, and African wild dogs may prey upon giraffes. Giraffes live in herds of related females and their offspring, or bachelor herds of unrelated adult males, but are gregarious and may gather in large aggregations. Males establish social hierarchies through “necking”, combat bouts where the neck is used as a weapon. Dominant males gain mating access to females, which bear sole responsibility for raising the young.

Reproduction in giraffes is broadly polygamous: a few older males mate with the fertile females. Females can reproduce throughout the year and experience oestrus cycling approximately every 15 days. Female giraffes in oestrous are dispersed over space and time, so reproductive adult males adopt a strategy of roaming among female groups to seek mating opportunities, with periodic hormone-induced rutting behaviour approximately every two weeks. Males prefer young adult females over juveniles and older adults.

Male giraffes assess female fertility by tasting the female’s urine to detect oestrus, in a multi-step process known as the flehmen response. Once an oestrous female is detected, the male will attempt to court her. When courting, dominant males will keep subordinate ones at bay. A courting male may lick a female’s tail, lay his head and neck on her body or nudge her with his ossicones. During copulation, the male stands on his hind legs with his head held up and his front legs resting on the female’s sides.

Giraffe gestation lasts 400–460 days, after which a single calf is normally born, although twins occur on rare occasions. The mother gives birth standing up. The calf emerges head and front legs first, having broken through the fetal membranes, and falls to the ground, severing the umbilical cord. A new born giraffe is 1.7–2 m (5.6–6.6 ft) tall. Within a few hours of birth, the calf can run around and is almost indistinguishable from a one-week-old. However, for the first one to three weeks, it spends most of its time hiding; its coat pattern providing camouflage. The ossicones, which have lain flat while it was in the womb, raise up in a few days.

Previous Next
Close
Test Caption
Test Description goes like this