Q:

What do giraffes look like?

A:

Quick Answer

The giraffe is a tall mammal with long legs, a spotted coat and an elongated neck. This mammal is the tallest in the world, with male giraffes growing as tall as 18 feet.

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Full Answer

Different subspecies of giraffes have different types of spots. The spots of the Masai giraffe look similar to oak leaves. Some giraffes have square spots, making them look like they are wearing nets. These spots may act as camouflage for wild giraffes.

Males and females have two ossicones, or hair-covered horns, on their heads. Male giraffes butt these horns together during play. A giraffe's neck is approximately 6 feet long and weighs as much as 600 pounds. Each of a giraffe's legs is also 6 feet long. The long legs and neck make it easier for giraffes to reach the leaves on tall trees.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Are giraffes endangered?

    A:

    The general giraffe population throughout Africa is starting to decline, with the West African giraffe having the lowest population at less than 300. With less than 80,000 giraffes in Africa, the Giraffe Conservation Foundation is working hard to create conservation methods to protect the current population and help it grow.

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  • Q:

    Why are giraffes so tall?

    A:

    A giraffe's height is an evolutionary adaptation that allows it to feed from tall trees and other sources of vegetation. The long tongue of the giraffe, which can grow to 21 inches in length, is a similar adaptation designed for reaching difficult spots.

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  • Q:

    Why are giraffes endangered?

    A:

    The giraffe, or giraffa camelopardalis, is endangered due to habitat loss, the breaking up of habitat areas, the lack of suitability in existing habitats, poaching and new human population growth. Giraffes need to find habitats that protect them from poachers, offer solid food and fluid resources, do not have an abundance of predators and provide an overall stable environment.

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  • Q:

    Why do giraffes have blue tongues?

    A:

    Melanin, which creates dark pigmentation in skin, is responsible for giraffe tongues' dark color. Although it is unknown exactly why giraffes have tongues that appear blue, purple and sometimes almost black, scientists believe that the animals' tongues have evolved this way for sun protection.

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