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Giraffes, amazing creatures that were unknown outside of Africa for a long time, still remain one of the most interesting and even odd African animals. Appearance is probably the most attractive feature of the species. The Giraffe has always been described as magnificent and bizarre. Its height and other unique characteristics drew explorers to the wonderful world of Africa to learn more about the creature. In old times, the Giraffe was almost a holy animal. Ancient cravings and drawings are a vivid proof of the species' role in the wild and its fetching nature.

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The Giraffe was so odd for the Europeans that it was sometimes presented as a diplomatic gift. In the medieval, it was believed that Giraffes originated from crossings of Camels and Leopards. This is where the misleading scientific name of the species takes roots. The scientific name of the Giraffe is Giraffa camelopardalis.

Giraffes - Description

Giraffes are famous for being the tallest animals in the world. The Giraffe has a very long neck. The length of the neck is so great that the animal has to stretch its front legs to bend the head to drink water on the ground. Unique elastic vessels provide for an ability to raise and lower the head so that the circulatory system continues to function properly and the animal does not faint from abrupt movements.

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The species has high shoulders and a slopping back. This may give an impression that the Giraffe's front legs are much longer than the hind legs. In fact, the front legs are just slightly longer. Moving the two legs at one side simultaneously is a peculiar gait of the animal. Giraffes have little knobs that resemble horns. These knobs serve as a means of head protection from blows. Both males and females have such "horns."

Giraffes have buff as the main color. Their body is covered with brown patches, which helps them to blend with the trees. As Giraffes age, their coloration becomes darker. It should be noted that there are no two Giraffes with identical coloration. Each Giraffe is unique.

Size: 18 feet
Weight: About 3.000 pounds
Life Expectancy: 25 years
Predators: Giraffes are hunted by lions, leopards, and other animals. However, Giraffes suffer the most from man.

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