National animal of Equatorial Guinea
Giraffe is national animal of Equatorial Guinea . Mammal of high altitude. The male can reach 5.3 m, which is why it is considered the highest animal of all that exist. It lives in the dry regions and with dispersed trees, located to the south of the Sahara desert .
The giraffes belong to the family of the Jiráfidos (Giraffidae), within the order of the Artiodáctilos. It is classified as Giraffe Camelopardalis
Interesting facts about Giraffe
The giraffe, like most mammals , has only seven cervical vertebrae, which are very elongated to support its long, muscular neck. Because of the great distance between the heart and the head (situated far above the animal’s head, and far below the head), giraffes need a regulatory mechanism that keeps the blood pressure in the brain constant ; for this they have a system formed by small arterieswhich dilate to varying degrees, and allow blood pressure to stabilize in the brain. This system is called an admirable reticle. In this way, when the giraffe lowers its head, the external carotid artery fills with blood, and prevents the excessive flow of this to the admirable reticulum; at the same time, the jugular vein prevents blood flow through a series of valves arranged along this vessel. When the head is erect, blood from the internal carotid artery passes into the reticulum, which will maintain the blood supply to the brain. Females and males are provided with two or four short, blunt horns covered with fur. The tongue is long (it can measure up to 40 cm in length), and flexible; use it together with the upper lip to remove the leaves from the highest branches of the acacias, which constitute one of its main foods.
The gestation of a giraffe lasts between 14 and 15 months; a single offspring is born. The mother gives birth and the embryonic sac breaks when the baby falls to the ground. Newborn giraffes are about 1.8 m tall and weigh about 50 kg. Within a few hours of being born, the offspring can run and are not distinguishable from a one-week-old calf. During the first two weeks they spend most of the time lying down, sheltered by their mother.
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Giraffes have excellent sense of hearing and smell, as well as a highly developed view . They congregate in unorganized herds , with a number of members between two and ten, to which they are frequently joined or separated by other individuals. Each herd is led by an adult male, who leads a group of several females with their offspring and some males that have not yet reached sexual maturity.
Due to their great weight, which can be 800 kg, giraffes are unable to cross marshes or to ford rivers; however, these animals move easily on dry and hard terrain. Unlike many other African herbivores that feed on grass, giraffes do not migrate during the dry seasons, because they get their food and most of the water they need from the leaves of the acacias . They can spend more than a month without drinking, and the few times they do, they have to separate their forelegs a lot so they can lower their heads to the water. It is for this reason that giraffes do not usually pacer. Giraffes rest and sleep on their feet.
While adult giraffes are too large to be attacked by most predators, the younger ones may be prey to lions, leopards, hyenas and wild dogs. The baby becomes independent around 18 months and feeds on breast milk up to that age. Only 25 to 50 percent of giraffes reach adulthood; those have an average life span of 20 to 26 years.