Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Giraffes...more than meet the eyes -- part 2

In January I discovered fun and interesting facts about Giraffas. Today I will share with you a few more!

Do not worry: no quiz in sight, so please enjoy! ^__^

  • The giraffe has the same number of vertebraes in its neck that most other mammals have, which is seven and this is what all of us have as well. Just that the verterbrae of the giraffa are much longer...
  • The idea that giraffes are mute is wrong! This silent and peaceful creature is definitely not voiceless. Although they are normally quiet, calves bleat and make a mewing call, cows seeking lost calves bellow, and courting bulls may emit a raucous cough. Giraffes also give alarm snorts, and moaning, snoring hissing, and flutelike sounds have been reported.
  • You would have to run in order to keep up with a giraffe walking because every step a giraffe takes is 15 feet long
  • The giraffes life span is 20 to 25 years
  • Like human fingerprints, each giraffe's coat is unique.
  • The age of the giraffe can be calculated from its spots. The darker the spots, the older is the giraffe.
  • The giraffe has a relative, the okapi, that has a much shorter neck. The okapi live in the forests of the Congo and are somewhat solitary animals.
  • There are many kinds of giraffes in the world : Kordofan Giraffe,Angolan Giraffe,southern Giraffe,Nigrian Giraffe,Reticulated Giraffe,Masai Giraffe and Rofts Giraffe.

  • Most websites about Giraffas will tell you that Giraffe comes for  Arabic "Xirapha" or "Zirafa" which means "one who walks swiftly" or "meaning fast walking". Unfortunately I cannot find any origin for that explanation even when I asked linguists or Arabic speakers around me.

  • Giraffas are naturally thoughful: males and females tend to eat from different parts of a tree to ensure that the sexes do not compete for food.
  • For the first four to five months, calves congregate in nursery groups called creches to rest and play while mothers forage in the distance.
  • At a given moment a giraffe may be in a herd composed of all males, all females, females and young, or of both sexes and all ages or all alone if it is a mature bull or a cow guarding a new calf. There are no leaders and minimum coordination of herd movements.

Mankind has honored giraffes through art mostly. They feature in African cave paintings and in ancient Egyptian art and designs. ( see The Almighty Giraffe of Dabous ). Our ancestors were wise! Today we can go further by mastering the Giraffe's language in order to make our world a better place...tikkun olam...

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