Giraffes are sociable creatures, but do not form herds. Instead, they meet in groups each day, but the composition of a group changes from day to day. 


Food and Feeding

Giraffes are browsers, and feed on the leaves and shoots of trees and shrubs. They vary the way in which they gather food depending on what it is they are eating.

Some trees, like the acacia, are very thorny, so the giraffe needs to take care when eating from them. They bite off individual shoots and bunches of leaves between the thorns. A giraffe's tongue can be up to 45cm long, and it uses this to pull leaves into its mouth and coats the whole ball in sticky saliva making it safe to swallow. They can pull the smaller branches of less thorny trees through their lobed canine teeth, stripping them of their leaves.

The way giraffes feed reduces competition between the sexes. Females bend down to reach lower branches of trees and shrubs, whilst males stretch up to get the leaves from the very tops of trees. Giraffe cows feed for up to twelve hours in every twenty-four, but males feed for much less time. Adult giraffes eat about 60kg of leaves every day.

Read More: Giraffe and Humans

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