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How do giraffes reproduce?

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Quick Answer

BioExpedition explains that giraffes reproduce through mating. Male giraffes are typically ready to mate when they are 6 years old, although more mature bulls often mate first before the younger ones. Female giraffes are ready to mate when they are around 4 years old.

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Full Answer

BioExpedition mentions that male giraffes taste the urine of the females to find out which giraffes are ready to mate. They search for urine with high estrus content, which is a type of hormone. The San Diego Zoo details that dominant male typically guards the estrus female from other males, and he is usually the only male in a specific area that gets to mate. The courting ritual of giraffes involves gently rubbing their necks against each other. A male giraffe taps on the female’s hind leg with his foreleg to signal his readiness to mate. There are no long-term bonds between giraffes, the San Diego Zoo notes.

According to the Animal Learning Zone, giraffes breed all year long, and their gestation lasts between 14 and 15 months. After this period, a female giraffe gives birth to a single calf. Newborn giraffe calves are generally 2 meters tall at birth, and they weight 50 to 55 kilograms.

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