Animals in Africa
Giraffes originate from Africa and live close to the Sahara and Botswana. There are almost no giraffes found in West Africa, except one population in Niger, where they were reintroduced to protected areas not that long ago.
Rothschild or Baringo giraffes, as they are called, are exclusively found on protected savannahs in Kenya and Uganda.
Giraffes are perfectly adapted to these dry and hot areas, where the prefer the leaves, twigs and bark of the acacia tree. The giraffes long neck and height is an extraordinary advantage on the savannah; they can eat plants that are unreachable for all the other herbivores on the savannah.
Nevertheless, drinking water is quite risky for giraffes. They have to spread their legs very wide, hold the balance, move the long neck down to reach the surface; a posture where they are easy prey for ambushing predators, and it takes time to get back to their normal position. Fortunately giraffes do not drink very often. Plants, bark and leaves are providing them with enough liquid.
The Rothschild giraffe is the tallest animal on earth. A male can reach a height of 5,8 m, while females mostly are 1 m shorter. A newborn calf weighs about 50 kg and is 2 m tall. Since female giraffes are giving birth while standing, calves need to be strong and tough.
Common for alle five species is the long neck and the beautiful brown spots. These spots can differ in color and intensity. They function like the human fingerprint, every spot is individual.
The giraffes unusual appearance is a good example of how organisms adapt to their environment through time and evolution. Sadly this fantastic creature is classified as endangered by the IUCN. The loss of their natural habitats and poaching are the main reasons for the falling numbers.
"… it is generally assumed that the front part of the giraffes tongue has such dark coloration to protect it from frequent sun exposure while eating?"
On the map you can find where the different animal feedings take place