The giraffe is the world’s largest terrestrial animal. It is a tall, African, hoofed mammal from the genus Giraffa. However, it is not the only species to walk the earth. Researchers found out from the fossils that there were seven other subspecies of giraffes that are now extinct. In this blog post, you will learn 3 interesting facts about giraffes. Well, along with these facts, you will find out how long does it take a giraffe to burp and how do giraffes spit out their stomach.
1. What is a Giraffe?
It is the largest of all hoofed herbivores. Their long necks and legs are the most distinct features of these animals. They have distinct-shaped brown spots on their bodies and a mane running from their head to their back. They are mostly found in the savannah and the woodlands. Giraffes gather in huge groups, living in herds of related females and their young or bachelor herds of unrelated adult males. (See What is the Niche of the Deer?)
2. How Tall and Heavy is a Giraffe?
Males are usually taller than female giraffes. Their average height when they stand tall can vary between 4.3 meters and 5.7 meters (14.1-18.7 feet). The weight of an adult male giraffe can be 1,192 kilograms (2628 lb.), while an adult female can weigh 828 kilograms (1,825 lb.). Also, check out How Long is a Giraffe’s Tongue?
3. What type of Body do They have?
They may have long necks and legs, but their bodies are relatively small. The thickness of their skin is 20 mm (0.79 inches). They have a long tail that has a dark tuft of hair towards its end. It acts as their defense against insects. Their tails can be 80 to 100 centimeters (31–39 inches) long. (See 20 Largest Zoo in the World)
4. What is the Color of their Patches?
Looking for how and why do giraffes spit out their stomach? We will come to that, let’s first learn about their features.
- Their thick coat has dark patches in orange, almost black, brown, and chestnut.
- These patches are surrounded by white or cream-colored hair.
- Males turn darker as they age, and their patches help them camouflage in the woodland and Savannah.
- The patterns of each giraffe are distinct from one another.
5. What are Ossicones?
Columnar or conical bones covered with skin are known as ossicones. Both male and female giraffes have ossicones. The ossicones are used for thermoregulation along with a means of combat between males.
6. How are Ossicones in Males and Females?
Ossicones are also indicators of their gender because both males and females have visible differences in them. Calves and female giraffes have thin ossicones with a tuff of thin air on top of them. In males, there is no hair on top of the ossicones, rather they appear knobbed at the top. (See What are Behavioral Adaptation of Animals?)
7. How many Stomachs do Giraffes have?
Giraffes have a special diet and to adapt to this diet they have a four-chambered stomach. Like other hoofed mammals, giraffes also ruminate. It means they chew the cud repeatedly for a long period of time. Their esophagus muscles are strong to allow the regurgitation of food from the stomach to the neck and then to the mouth for ruminating. In the next segment, you will get to know the answer to do giraffes spit out their stomach, so read on. Also, check out Do Cows Really Have Four Stomachs?
8. Do Giraffes spit out Their Stomach?
Giraffes graze and collect this semi-chewed food, which is stored in a compartment of their stomach where it is partly digested. Whenever they want, they regurgitate this half-digested food from their stomach back into their mouth. They do not spit out their stomach in this process, and the only thing that reaches their mouth is the cud (partly digested food). (See What Animals Eat Wheat?)
9. How long does It take a Giraffe to Burp?
According to scientists, giraffes are capable of making different types of sounds like snorts, grunts, moos, or roars, but most of these sounds are inaudible to humans. And burping is one of them. Burping is the process of releasing gas from the upper digestive tract through the mouth. In giraffes and other ruminants (animals known to regurgitate their food after chewing their cud), methane is produced in large amounts. To get rid of this, they burp. However, the time can not be estimated as it depends on their food intake. (See 14 Interesting Facts about Mammals)
10. How long does It take to digest Food?
Digestion depends upon the amount and type of food they consume. Normally, it takes ten minutes for a giraffe to digest food.
11. How much Water does a Giraffe Need?
As you already read the answer to do giraffes spit out their stomach, now let’s see their water intake process. About 70% of the daily water requirements of giraffes are fulfilled by their food. Therefore, they are rarely seen drinking water. A giraffe uses its jaw as a plunger pump to drink water. Each pump takes about 1.5 seconds and with 17 pumps, the esophagus gets full. It takes hardly 25 seconds to 45 seconds, but in these 17 pumps, they drink about 5 liters of water. (See How is Refraction used in the Natural World by Animals?)
12. Do They have 4 Hearts?
No, they do not have 4 hearts. Their circulatory systems have adapted to their height and behavior. They need blood circulation twice that of humans because of their long legs and neck. Their hearts weigh 11 kilograms (25 pounds) and measure about 60 cm (2 feet). Their heart has a 7.5-centimeter (3-inch) thick wall, and it beats at 150 beats per minute (bpm). And yes, they have only 1 big heart. (See 5 Name of Mammals that Lay Egg)
13. What are 3 Interesting Facts about Giraffes?
This mammal is full of unique features that are mostly of its kind because no other animal is as large as a giraffe. Other than being the tallest mammal on Earth, Let’s see what are 3 interesting facts about giraffes.
- The Latin word for the giraffe is Giraffe Camelopardalis which means the one who walks quickly, and a camel is marked like a leopard. It is suitable because with their 6-foot-long legs they can run at a speed of 35 miles per hour for short distances. But for longer distances, their cruising speed is 10 miles per hour.
- Their long neck can reach good heights, but they cannot reach the ground. A giraffe can chew on leaves from the topmost branch of a plant, but it finds it hard to graze grass. Therefore, they have to spread their front legs for their necks to reach the water. Well, did you find do giraffes spit out their stomach?
- Giraffes have spots or patterns on their coats that are unique to each one of them. Just like fingerprints are distinct in humans, similarly, no two giraffes have the same patches.
So, now you know that the myth do giraffes spit out their stomach is just a misinterpretation of their ruminant system. These 3 interesting facts about giraffes were some new information, unlike the basic one that the giraffe is the tallest among all mammals on the Earth. (See Where do Animals get Nitrogen from?)