Giraffes are the world’s tallest mammals, thanks to their towering legs and long necks. A giraffe’s legs alone are taller than many humans. Despite their ungainly appearance their long legs allow giraffes to run as fast as 35 miles (56 kilometers) an hour over short distances and cruise comfortably at 10 miles (16 kilometers) an hour over longer distances.
Typically, these fascinating animals roam the open grasslands in small groups of about half a dozen. Giraffes use their height to good advantage and graze on leaves and buds in treetops that few other animals can reach. Even the giraffe’s tongue is long! The 21-inch (53-centimeter) tongue helps them pluck tasty morsels from branches. Giraffes eat most of the time and, like cows, regurgitate food and chew it as cud. A giraffe eats hundreds of pounds of leaves each week and must travel miles to find enough food.
The giraffe’s height also helps it to keep a sharp lookout for predators across the wide expanse of the African savanna. The giraffe’s stature can be a disadvantage as well—it is difficult and dangerous for a giraffe to drink at a water hole. To do so they must spread their legs and bend down in an awkward position that makes them vulnerable to predators like Africa’s big cats.
However Giraffes have adapted so that they only need to drink once every several days as they are able to get most of their water from the luscious plants they eat. This reduces the time the need to spend in a vulnerable position drinking from water holes.
Giraffe bone handles are stained and stabilized and available in a variety of colours and sizes.