Giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) are hoofed mammals with long legs and a long neck. Their skin is a patchwork of dark chestnut spots separated by thin cream colored lines. Their coloration varies slightly, with various subspecies having less disinct spots or spots that can vary from a yellowish color to black.
Giraffes are well adapted to graze leaves and fruit from the branches of trees. Their elongated tounge and long neck enable them to extend up to 18 feet when reaching upward among vegetation. Specialized teeth help them to efficiently strip leaves from a branch.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order Artiodactyla
- Family: Giraffidae
- Genus: Giraffa
Species: Giraffa camelopardalis
The Species Giraffa camelopardalis contains the following subgroups:
- Subspecies: Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi (Rothschild's giraffe)
- Subspecies: Giraffa camelopardalis peralta (West African giraffe)
- Subspecies: Giraffa camelopardalis angolensis (Angolan giraffe)
- Subspecies: Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata (reticulated giraffe)
- Subspecies: Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi (Masai giraffe)
- Subspecies: Giraffa camelopardalis giraffa (South African giraffe)
Where to See:
Africa. Woodland savannas.
- Burnie D, Wilson DE. 2001. Animal. London: Dorling Kindersley. 624 p.
- Maisano S, Fraser A. 2006. Giraffa camelopardalis. Animal Diversity Web. November 29, 2008.