Giraffe

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giraffe : a large fleet African ruminant mammal that is the tallest of living quadrupeds and has a very long neck and a short coat with dark blotches separated by pale lines — Webster

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Giraffe is a genus of African even-toed ungulate mammals, the tallest living terrestrial animals and the largest ruminants. The genus currently consists of one species, Giraffa camelopardalis, the type species. Seven other species are extinct, prehistoric species known from fossils. Taxonomic classifications of one to eight extant giraffe species have been described, based upon research into the mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, as well as morphological measurements of Giraffa, but the IUCN currently recognizes only one species with nine subspecies.

The giraffe’s chief distinguishing characteristics are its extremely long neck and legs, its horn-like ossicones, and its distinctive coat patterns. It is classified under the family Giraffidae, along with its closest extant relative, the okapi. Its scattered range extends from Chad in the north to South Africa in the south, and from Niger in the west to Somalia in the east. Giraffes usually inhabit savannahs and woodlands. Their food source is leaves, fruits and flowers of woody plants, primarily acacia species, which they browse at heights most other herbivores cannot reach. Giraffes may be preyed on by lions, leopards, spotted hyenas and African wild dogs. Giraffes live in herds of related females and their offspring, or bachelor herds of unrelated adult males, but are gregarious and may gather in large aggregations.

The giraffe has intrigued various cultures, both ancient and modern, for its peculiar appearance, and has often been featured in paintings, books, and cartoons. It is classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as Vulnerable to extinction, and has been extirpated from many parts of its former range. Giraffes are still found in numerous national parks and game reserves but estimations as of 2016 indicate that there are approximately 97,500 members of Giraffa in the wild, with around 1,144 in captivity. — Wikipedia

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Phys.org - latest science and technology news stories Phys.org internet news portal provides the latest news on science including: Physics, Nanotechnology, Life Sciences, Space Science, Earth Science, Environment, Health and Medicine.

  • Just like humans, giraffes prefer to dine with...
    on November 26, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    When it comes to meal times in the animal kingdom, giraffes have been found to be just like us and prefer the company of their friends, according to new research by the University of Bristol. […]

  • Human ancestors not to blame for ancient mammal...
    on November 22, 2018 at 7:00 pm

    New research disputes a long-held view that our earliest tool-bearing ancestors contributed to the demise of large mammals in Africa over the last several million years. Instead, the researchers argue that long-term environmental change drove the extinctions, mainly in the form of grassland expansion likely caused by falling atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels. […]

  • Niger to move protected giraffes as habitat...
    on November 21, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    Part of a group of a rare giraffes that has become a Niger tourist attraction is to be moved to a reserve 600 kilometres (400 miles) away owing to encroaching desert, farmland and increasing instances of them being struck by vehicles, officials said Wednesday. […]

  • Capturing the frugal beauty of complex natural...
    on November 21, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    Surface tessellations are an arrangement of shapes which are tightly fitted, and form repeat patterns on a surface without overlapping. Imagine the pattern of a giraffe's fur, the shell of a tortoise and the honeycomb of bees—all form natural tessellations. Mimicking these natural designs computationally is a complex, multi-disciplinary problem. A global team of computer scientists has developed a new, alternate model for replicating these intricate surface designs, veering away from […]

  • A solar sibling identical to the sun
    on November 19, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    An international team led by Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço (IA) researcher Vardan Adibekyan used a novel method to detect solar siblings. The article was published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics. […]