POPSUGAR Pets

One Affable Giraffe

Apr 13 2012 - 4:00am

You could say we're a little giraffe-obsessed [1], but how can you blame us when zoos across the globe are bombarding us with these adorable animals? The latest addition to the zoo baby world is an as-yet-unnamed Rothschild giraffe born to mom Tatu at the Zoo Aquarium of Madrid on Easter day. This Spanish cutie can't seem to get enough of his audience — and the camera — even at just a few days old! We think he's muy lindo, so we've gathered up a few fun facts about these towering animals — check out our slideshow!

Giraffe gestation lasts 13 to 15 months . . . That's a long time to be pregnant!

A newborn giraffe measures about 6 feet tall but will eventually grow to tower at 16 to 20 feet!

While it can stand and run within a few hours after birth, the baby giraffe spends most of its first two weeks lying down, protected by its mother.

The full-grown giraffe's neck is over 6 feet tall alone. The animal has the same number of cervical vertebrae as a human, so the neck bones are just very long.

Long legs and necks allow giraffes to reach food sources up to 16 feet high. Their 20-inch-long prehensile tongues wrap around foliage to help them tear leaves and branches high up in the trees.

Giraffes require only 4.6 hours of sleep per day, and much of that is fragmented, especially among animals in the wild.

Mothers with babies gather together in groups, and the social bonds that calves form with the other youngsters help them maintain the herd's solidarity as they get older.


Source URL
http://www.petsugar.com/pets/Photos-Newborn-Baby-Giraffe-Zoo-Aquarium-Madrid-22636665