Friday, October 23, 2009
Giraffes' Height: A Blessing and An Obstacle
Giraffes are the tallest mammals in the world. Their legs alone stand at about 6 feet, making a giraffe anywhere from 14 to 19 feet tall. Because of these long legs, giraffes can run for up to 35 miles per hour. They also can find food where many other animals can't; however, they still have to travel long distances to feed their diet of hundreds of pounds of leaves each week. Although giraffes get most of their water from the leaves they chew, these animals still need a drink every couple of days. This can be a hard task because they have to bend in an awkward position to reach any watering hole, leaving them as an easy target for predators. Their height also creates an obstacle for a giraffe when it's born. Because they give birth standing up, an infant gets dropped about 5 feet when it is comes out into the world. They're tough, however, because within 30 minutes they can stand.