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giraffe The giraffe is the tallest land animal. Giraffes live in African grasslands (savannas).

Anatomy:The giraffe is up to 19 feet (6 m) tall and weighs up to 2,800 pounds (1270 kg). A baby giraffe (called a calf) weighs about 130 pounds at birth and is about 6 feet tall.

Even though the giraffe's neck is extremely long, it has only seven neck vertebrae (the bones in the neck), the same number that people and most other mammals have. The front legs are slightly longer than the rear legs. Different giraffe sub-species have different patterns, but most have brown polygons on a cream/tan background. The polygons are larger on the body and smaller on the face and limbs and act as camouflage among the trees. Giraffes have two short horns; males have knobbed, hairless horns, females have thinner, tufted horns.

Protection from Predators: These herding mammals can see their enemies (like lions) from long distances. Giraffes can run up to 35 mph (56 kph) for short bursts.

Diet: Giraffes are plant-eaters, eating mostly leaves, twigs and bark from the tops of the thorny acacia plant. The giraffes carefully eat around the thorns, and their tough lips and thick saliva protect them somewhat from the thorns.

Water: Giraffes can go for days without water. In order to drink water, the giraffe has to spread its front legs and bend its long neck to the water. This is a dangerous position for the giraffe since it can't see its enemies and can't get a fast start running.

1. Is a baby giraffe the same size as an adult human, or twice as tall? ________________________

2. Is an adult giraffe two, three or four times as tall as an adult human? ________________________

3. Which are longer, the front or rear legs of a giraffe? ________________________

4. What do giraffes eat? ________________________

5. Does the giraffe have any predators? If so, name one. ________________________

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