Giraffes have horns because they are used as weapons during inter-species conflicts. Male giraffes battle with other males for access to resources, such as food, water or mates. While both genders possess the horns, the horns of males lack the tufts of fur that female horns bear. This is because the fur and skin are worn off the male’s horns as they battle with other males.Continue Reading
During battles, male giraffes swing their heads at each other, trying to get their opponent to yield and flee the area. The horns of giraffes are technically called ossicones. Ossicones begin as cartilaginous structures, however, over time, the cartilage is replaced by bone, and the horns become very hard and solid. The males of some giraffe subspecies grow a second set of ossicones directly behind the first.
Giraffes are the tallest living land animals, and some of the largest specimens reach nearly 20 feet in height. Giraffes have evolved long necks to see predators from a great distance and to reach their favorite food sources. Giraffes consume a wide variety of plant species, but the favorite food for giraffes is the young, tender leaves in the crowns of acacia trees. Giraffes need very large and powerful hearts to pump blood all the way up their necks and into their brains.Learn more about Giraffes
Giraffes eat buds and leaves from vegetation. They forage from trees, bushes and shrubs, and occasionally dine on grass. The exact makeup of their diet varies with their immediate surroundings and the season; however, all giraffes are herbivores, relying entirely on plants for food.Full Answer >
Giraffes only sleep about 30 minutes during a 24-hour period. They tend to sleep in small, 5-minute increments to maintain their safety.Full Answer >
Giraffes lie down on rare occasions. More often than not, giraffes remain standing while they rest as there are constant threats to their survival, and they must remain alert.Full Answer >
Giraffes can live as long as 25 years on the open grasslands of sub-Saharan Africa and up to 30 years in captivity. However, infant mortality is high among giraffes. Approximately 50 percent of giraffe calves do not survive past six months.Full Answer >