How well do you know giraffes? We got a little insight on the tallest creatures on land from our friends at the Memphis Zoo!
You might already know that giraffes are the tallest creatures on land, but how well do you REALLY know giraffes? Our friends at the Memphis Zoo dropped some knowledge about our long-necked friends, and these facts are just too interesting not to share!
The Reticulated Giraffe
While there are several different types of giraffes on earth, all of the giraffes at the Memphis Zoo are reticulated giraffes. You can tell the different types of giraffe apart from one another by their patterns. Reticulated giraffes are known for the polygon shapes made by the brown and white pattern of their fur. There are 9 giraffes at the Memphis Zoo, including 1 male and 8 females. The age of the giraffes range widely — from one of the oldest in the country at 25 years old, to one of the youngest in the country with the newest addition to the herd, baby Mashamba.
What do giraffes eat?
Giraffes are herbivores, so they only eat plants. More specifically, they love to eat leaves from trees like acacia trees. Given their height, long necks, and long tongues, it pretty much makes perfect sense that tree leaves would be their favorite food.
Giraffes have crazy tongues
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of watching a giraffe eat leaves from a tree from up close, you’d notice they have a crazy long tongue that they use to help eat. Their tongues are black, and can be anywhere from 12 to 18 inches in length. The giraffes use their tongue to wrap around tree branches, and strip the leaves right off of them.
Giraffes have amazing eyesight
So you already know they’re the tallest animals on land, and they use their height to help them eat their favorite foods. But did you know that the giraffes also use their height as a defense mechanism? Giraffes are known as the “sentries of the African Veldt,” because so many other animals, like zebras for example, rely on them as a warning signal for predators. Giraffes have such excellent eye-sight, they can actually see for miles on a clear day. This, in combination with their height, gives them an early-warning advantage to know when predators are around, and the other animals pick up on this as well.
More on the Memphis Zoo
You can get up close and personal with the giraffes at the Memphis Zoo! Click here to get more info on the giraffe feedings that they offer at the zoo.
For more on the reticulated giraffes at the Memphis Zoo, head over to their website here!
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