WHERE DO GIRAFFES LIVE?




The giraffe is one of the iconic and spectacular land mammals of the African plains. In fact Africa is the only continent where Giraffes live. More specifically, they are found between the countries of Chad (which is in Central Africa) and South Africa. They usually inhabit savannas, grasslands and open woodlands, but the Angolan giraffe can also be found in near desert environments.

The trouble is that these habitats will limit their food choices. However, as these majestic beast have evolved under these somewhat harsh conditions, the giraffe is able to make the most of what's available.

Giraffes prefer to eat Acacia, Commiphora, Combretum and open Terminalia woodlands over denser environments like Brachystegia woodlands. Giraffes also browse on the twigs of trees, preferring those from the genera Acacia, Commiphora and Terminalia as they are important sources of calcium and protein to sustain the giraffe's growth rate. They also feed on shrubs, grass and fruit.

The giraffe does not browse thorny trees such as the acacia at random. Instead it bites off individual shoots and bunches of leaves between the thorns. Using its lips and tongue - which may be up to 45 cm long - it pulls its chosen morsel into its mouth and coats in sticky saliva making it safer to swallow.

Cleverly, the giraffe is able to quickly strip trees and shrubs which naturally have fewer thorns, by running the entire length of smaller branches through its teeth!

Amazingly, a giraffe can still manage to eat around 34 kg (75 lb) of foliage daily. Be that as it may, the giraffe requires less food than many other herbivores, because the foliage it eats has more concentrated nutrients and also because the giraffe has a more efficient digestive system. If food is particularly scarce, giraffes may even chew the bark off branches.

GIRAFFE FACTS
WHAT DO GIRAFFES EAT?
WHY DO GIRAFFES HAVE LONG NECKS?

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