The unique biology of Giraffes provides them with some interesting challenges in the wild.
The often display strange behavior that I will try to explain.
Let's look at a few interesting facts about these elegant creatures.
I bet you already knew that these African animals are the world's tallest mammals but maybe I can reveal a few facts you did not know in this article.
What is the natural habitat where you are most likely to see these wildlife animals in the Africa?
In their natural habitat these African animals prefer woodlands areas.
This is where they will find food trees for them to browse.
They use grasslands only for traveling.
If fresh green food is available they do not need water.
If that is the case you are unlikely to see them at rivers and lakes.
They usually feed and move around during the cooler parts of the day in the early morning and late afternoon.
These African safari animals do sometimes feed at night if there is bright moonlight.
You will see them resting in the midday heat, either standing up or lying down.
Do they live in herds?
Yes you will find them in rather loose, open herds with no specific leaders which will coordinate the herd movement.
Mature bulls are very mobile and roam alone but will associate with a herd that has a female on heat in it.
These animals are not territorial and float amongst groups without enduring relationships except for the bond betIen a mother and a calf.
The social interaction, which you are most likely amongst these animals when on an African safari, is necking.
This occurs during courtship, when it involves a gentle, stroking action.
Young adult males spar by neck wrestling when it is a test of strength - each trying to wrestle the other slightly off balance.
To understand dominance hierarchies amongst them look for the dominant animal, which will stand with its head held high.
A submissive one holds its head low and at an angle to its neck and drops its ears.
What do giraffes eat?
These long necked browsers are able to exploit a feeding niche in their habitats that is only shared by elephants.
Their height enables them to reach food, which no antelope can get at.
They feed mainly on the Acacia trees.
Giraffes are very selective feeders and only chooses the most nutritious leaves.
They do this by pulling leaves and small twigs into its mouth with its lips and tongue.
They sometimes spit out thorns and tough twigs.
These African animals have a very efficient digestive system.
This means that they can survive on less than half the browse you would expect of an animal of this size.
The presence of thorns on acacia trees slows down this process, which means they have to spend at least 11, and up to 20, hours a day feeding.
In habitat areas where the soil is poor in calcium they obtain these minerals by chewing bones.
Do you know how to see the difference betIen a male and female giraffe from a distance?
You can differentiate betIen the sexes because of their different feeding styles.
Males tend to feed at full stretch, reaching up to 5, 8 m from the ground.
Females feed loIr with their heads tipped downwards and their necks angled forward to reach the tops of low bushes.
This means that bulls and cows do not have to compete for food.