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Inquisitive baby giraffe - Picture of Selenkay Conservancy, Amboseli Eco-system

Write a Review Add Photo. Compared to any other animal, a baby giraffe is a giant, weighing pounds and standing six feet tall when it drops out of its mother's womb. When it's born, a baby giraffe really does drop -- almost five feet to the ground. Only 10 hours later, the baby will be running with the other giraffes. Four or five years later, the giraffe is considered an adult.

Baby giraffe - Picture of Authentic Tanzania Kilimatonge Wilderness Camp Ruaha, Ruaha National Park

The Giraffe Some animals, like an albatross, are distinguishable by a single unique body part -- in this case, wings. What stands out more than anything about a giraffe is a quality, more than any particular part. Everything about a giraffe is long. A giraffe is often almost 19 feet tall, making it the tallest animal on earth. Its legs alone are about six feet long. Its neck is even longer. The longest neck in the animal kingdom only has seven vertebrae.

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This is the same number of neck bones as humans. Scientists have stuck their necks out with a couple of evolution theories. Somewhere down the evolutionary path, 11 to 12 million years ago , they branched off into different directions and the okapi actually looks more like a zebra now. Most theories argue that giraffe evolved so they could reach less accessible food sources.

The long neck evolved as it allows them to reach treetop canopies where its competition cannot go.

This resulted in its fore-legs becoming longer, as well its hind legs and its neck lengthening tremendously over time. A second theory suggests giraffes are so tall because they need their neck for combat.

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Giraffe have a rough time at the watering hole and when reaching the ground they are at their most vulnerable. However, the giraffe did get lucky with its long neck. Giraffe have a huge advantage over other herbivores when it comes to browsing for food. In the wild, giraffes stretch their elongated necks beyond its competition.

Differences in species are not only recognised by height, but also by their coats. Every giraffe wears an individual print unique to them, just like our fingerprints are unique to us. No two giraffes are ever the same.

Inquisitive baby giraffe - Picture of Selenkay Conservancy, Amboseli Eco-system - TripAdvisor

However, it is possible to identify a species in the colouring of the coat or pelt. The reticulated giraffe has rich orange-brown patches defined by thin, white channels running between them, whereas the Masai giraffe is covered in large jagged leaf-shaped patches surrounded by a more creamy-brown outline.

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The Southern giraffe poses with various shades of brown and irregular, star-shaped patches. Its coat is broken up by lighter shades of tan and almost cream shaded lines.

Spectacle! Hundreds of animals at a waterhole in Etosha. Elephants, giraffes, zebras, antilopes

The Northern giraffe struts its stuff with larger rectangular patches , surrounded by an off-white creamy colour and a more recognisable tan colour overall. Giraffe are now extinct in eight African countries where they used to live, including Guinea and Mali. They are facing a high risk of extinction due to habitat loss and poaching. There are many conservation groups raising awareness.