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Giraffe.

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Arcane
421295.  Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:24 am Reply with quote

The Giraffe.

Classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Giraffidae
Genus: Giraffa Species: G. camelopardalis

Giraffa means "One who walks swiftly".

There are nine recognized subspecies of giraffe:

Nigerian giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis peralta)
Nubian giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis camelopardalis)
Baringo (Rothschild's) giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi)
Masai giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi)
Reticulated giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata)
Thornicroft's giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis thornicrofti)
Kordofan giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis antiquorum)
Angolan giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis angolensis)
Southern giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis giraffa).

A giraffe is one of the few animals that uses mostly its front legs when it runs.

They have the same amount of vertebrae in their necks as other mammals (seven) despite its length.

Giraffes are sometimes thought to be mute. They aren't; just quiet, but have been recorded as making sounds: Calves bleat and mew. Cows looking for lost calves may bellow. Courting bulls can emit a "raucous cough". They can also give alarm snorts, moan, hiss, snore and make "flutelike sounds".

For the first four or five months of a giraffe's life, calves congregate in a "creche" to rest and play while mothers forage in the distance.

Their heart can weigh up to 24 pounds.

Males can be up to 5.5 metres tall, and weigh up to 1,700kgs. Females height and weight is less. The largest giraffe ever documented was a male, in the 1930's from Kenya, and was approximately 5.87 metres tall, and weighed approximately 2,000kgs.

Their tongue is black.

They can drink up to 12 gallons of water in a single session. They can eat up to 65kgs of food daily.

An adult's step is approximately 15 feet long.

They can sleep for anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours sleeping in a 24 hour period, averaging up to 1.9 hours per day.

Their lifespan can be up to 30 plus years in captivity, and up to 20 years in the wild.

An interesting fact about giraffes: Males and females have different eating patterns and what giraffes have been through an area can be identified by that. A male will eat from the tops of the trees, a female will arch her neck and eat lower down. A male will sometimes go into dense woodland to feed, a female will not.

source: Wiki, Random Giraffe Facts (website) and Animal Corner.

 
Flash
421333.  Mon Oct 13, 2008 3:57 am Reply with quote

reddygirl wrote:
They have the same amount of vertebrae in their necks as other mammals (seven) despite its length.

Perhaps: post 251446 for the Giraffe Neck Issue.

 
Arcane
421339.  Mon Oct 13, 2008 4:03 am Reply with quote

Yes Flash, I had come across this whilst reading on giraffes. There are technically seven vertebrae in its neck/cervical region FWIU.

There are exceptions regarding the seven vertebrae rule: some sites list two, some list more, these are the ones I have found:

"The manatee and the two-toed sloth have only six cervical vertebrae, the ant bear has eight cervical vertebrae and the three-toed sloth has nine cervical vertebrae."

I'm currently looking for articles regarding the skeletal structure of a giraffe (and getting my daughter her dinner).

 
Sebastian flyte
421346.  Mon Oct 13, 2008 4:15 am Reply with quote

There is /was a big gay giraffe in charge of a very small part of teletext on channel 4.

 
Arcane
421347.  Mon Oct 13, 2008 4:19 am Reply with quote

Flash, due to time constraints at the moment I've had a bit of trouble getting past the usual "giraffe have seven cervical vertebrae" heading. I did find This article that does seem to raise an interesting point regarding the structure of the giraffe's neck.

 
exnihilo
421349.  Mon Oct 13, 2008 4:23 am Reply with quote

I like that the old camel-leopard misconception has been retained in the Latin name of the giraffe.

 
Arcane
421351.  Mon Oct 13, 2008 4:25 am Reply with quote

I found the abstract from N. Solounias from which information to the above link has obviously come from; it's the same one suze mentioned in the earlier thread.

Giraffe vertebrae abstract

And then I found this tidbit which may explain simply what the confusion/discussion is over: (from all animal experts website)

..."The exceptions are various sloths with 6-9 neck vertebrae and possibly the giraffe, which may have 8 neck vertebrae. There is some controversy about the giraffe as to whether one of the vertebrae is the eighth neck vertebra or the first thoracic vertebra."

 
Ian Dunn
421467.  Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:43 am Reply with quote

Giraffe is kosher according to Israeli vets, because they are grazing animals that have cloven hooves and chew the cud. A test on their milk has confirmed that Jews can eat them.

Source: Daily Telegraph

 
Arcane
421472.  Mon Oct 13, 2008 9:06 am Reply with quote

Imagine the serving of Giraffe osso bucco you'd get???

 
Alfred E Neuman
421490.  Mon Oct 13, 2008 9:30 am Reply with quote

There was a hell of a stink locally (in SA) a couple of years ago - someone was planning some form of festival, and one of the major attractions was going to be a giraffe on a spit. People seemed to think this was in poor taste, and after much discussion to and fro, it was called off.

Sorry, but I can't find a link to the article...

 
Sebastian flyte
421540.  Mon Oct 13, 2008 10:26 am Reply with quote

The whole idea of the scale of that is remarkable I'd have loved to have seen that and eaten some like a spit pig roast.

 
exnihilo
421828.  Mon Oct 13, 2008 3:37 pm Reply with quote

Ian Dunn wrote:
Giraffe is kosher according to Israeli vets, because they are grazing animals that have cloven hooves and chew the cud. A test on their milk has confirmed that Jews can eat them.

Source: Daily Telegraph


Whereas, returning to camelopard, neither the camel nor the leopard are kosher. So it's as well for the gastronome that the confusion over the giraffe's origins was cleared up, if not actually for the giraffe.

 
smiley_face
421839.  Mon Oct 13, 2008 3:47 pm Reply with quote

Having spent much of the last 3 days studying the cervical spine, I can inform you of a few (somewhat irrelevant) facts. I should be writing an essay on the matter, but this is far more fun...

There are 7 cervical vertebrae in humans. However, evolutionarily, there used to be 8. The first one, called the pre-atlas has come to be fused with the skull. The joint between the pre-atlas and the atlas (the atlas being the first proper vertebrae in humans these days) allows you to bend the neck forward and backward. Rotation of the neck occurs between the altas and the axis (aka C1 and C2, since they are the first and second proper vertebrae in modern man.

S: Any one of the numerous books scattered around my desk.

 
smiley_face
421846.  Mon Oct 13, 2008 3:50 pm Reply with quote

reddygirl wrote:
..."The exceptions are various sloths with 6-9 neck vertebrae and possibly the giraffe, which may have 8 neck vertebrae. There is some controversy about the giraffe as to whether one of the vertebrae is the eighth neck vertebra or the first thoracic vertebra."

As I understand it, the difference between cervical and thoracic vertebrae is 1) Thoracic vertebrae have ribs attached to them (or at least articular facets for ribs to attach to) and 2) That there are foramina (holes) in the transverse processes (sticky outy bits on the side) of the vertebrae for blood vessels to pass through.

That said, 2 isn't even always the case in humans, so that's probably not a great example...

 
gerontius grumpus
421894.  Mon Oct 13, 2008 4:27 pm Reply with quote

At the risk of seeming pedantic, can I just point out that the singular is vertebra and the plural is vertebrae?
Just let me point out that i'm not posting this in an aggressive way and if you want to develop the language and make it evolve, please feel free.
Humans occasionally have a small cervical rib which can cause parasthesia in the hands.

 

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