Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) /animals/assets/aiaGiraffe/ aiaGiraffe.png Helloooo up there! 535 69 01_giraffe.jpg Giraffes are the tallest land mammal on earth, averaging 14 to 17 feet high. That’s tall enough to look into a second-story window! No two giraffes look exactly alike 180 164 02_giraffe_stock.jpg Like a fingerprint, the markings of a giraffe’s coat are unique to each individual. Chew on this 795 250 03_giraffe_hickey.jpg The giraffe is the world’s largest ruminant, digesting plant-based food by initially softening it in the first stomach, then regurgitating the cud and chewing it again. Few close cousins 106 199 04_giraffe_web.jpg Giraffes are related to other even-toed ungulates such as deer and cattle, but their only close relative is the okapi. Home on the range 172 300 005_giraffe_stock.jpg Giraffes usually inhabit savannas, grasslands or open woodlands where acacias – their preferred diet -- are abundant. Stand back and hold your nose! 283 204 06_giraffe-MG.jpg The giraffe's fur works as a chemical defense, full of antibiotics and smelly chemicals that act as parasite repellents, giving the giraffe a strong odor. Old males are sometimes nicknamed "stink bulls." No need for caffeine 619 160 007_giraffe_stock.jpg Giraffes have one of the shortest sleep requirements of any mammal, between 10 minutes and two hours in a 24-hour period, averaging 1.9 hours per day. A camel? A leopard? A bit of both? 688 266 08_giraffe_stock.jpg The species name camelopardalis (camelopard) is derived from the giraffe’s early Roman name, where it was described as having characteristics of both a camel and a leopard. The English word camelopard first appeared in the 14th century and survived in common usage well into the 19th century. Male or female? The hint’s in the horns 762 180 009_giraffe_stock.jpg Horns are formed from ossified cartilage and are a means of identifying the sex of giraffes: females have tufts of hair on top, whereas males' horns tend to be bald.. Something in common 348 67 10_giraffe_stock.jpg Like humans, giraffes have seven vertebrae in their elongated necks, which may weigh 600 pounds and account for half their height. Welcome – ouch! – to the world 605 251 11_giraffe_stock.jpg The mother giraffe gives birth standing up and the embryonic sack usually bursts when the baby falls headfirst to the ground. Newborn giraffes are about 6 feet tall. Keep your distance 40 266 12_giraffe_stock.jpg A single well-placed kick from a giraffe can shatter a lion's skull or break its spine. Lions are the only predators that pose a serious threat to an adult giraffe. WWF's Work with Giraffes 165 439 WWF.png Giraffes are unusual and fascinating creatures. Evolving from a tall, antelope-like mammal that roamed Europe and Asia 30-50 million years ago, giraffes are still largely abundant in Africa, except for two endangered subspecies. Scientists believe the giraffe’s long neck was an adaptation that allowed it to feed more competitively. WWF supports giraffe conservation through the protection of disappearing habitat and anti-poaching efforts.