Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata
Diet: Herbivore; Acacia and Combretom trees
Lifespan: 20-25 years
Range/Habitat: Africa south of the Sahara desert, dry savanna
Conservation Status: LC least concerned
Giraffes are the tallest animals in the world. Males may reach 19 feet tall and weigh 2400-4200 pounds. Females can grow 17 feet tall and weigh between 1500 and 2400 pounds. A 6 foot baby is born after 14-15 months gestation. Only about 25% of offspring survive the 1st year. The giraffe has a 22 inch prehensile tongue that it uses to grab leaves from the trees. The giraffe's neck can be 8 feet long, but it still has the same number of vertebrae as a human. Valves in the blood vessels of the neck prevent blood from rushing to the head when the animals lower their head to drink. Giraffes have skin covered horns which are present at birth.