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Daily Zoo Animal: #16, Giraffe.

fox eyes

Masai Giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi

Giraffes are among the most bizarre of all mammals and the most familiar of all zoo animals. They are the tallest mammals (male Masai giraffes can be 18 feet tall) with extremely long legs and grotesquely long necks, adaptations for feeding at treetops. Their long black tongues grasp twigs, stripping acacia leaves from their thorny branches. Whole branches can be torn off and the giraffe's powerful molars can grind the acacia thorns up. Like most large mammals, giraffes are generally diminishing in population, though they suffer less from competition with domestic animals than some other African wildlife. This may be because domestic livestock forages on much lower growing plants.

This individual is Jana, "the most genetically valuable female Masai giraffe in North America." Currently, the giraffe barn is being renovated, and it is always possible for the Jana and her mate Beau to be on exhibit. When they are out, they are with the Grevy's Zebras, at Franklin Park Zoo.

On this day in 365 urban species: Great golden digger wasp. This post has a number of anonymous comments from people (apparently alarmed to find a big orange wasp in their yard) who found their way there via Google searches.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
squid_ink
Aug. 30th, 2007 01:09 am (UTC)
Grotesque?
they're beautiful.. and they can be found in some very fancy digs around town.

It's amazing to see them running out in the open, alongside zebra and antelope and yes even cattle..

squid_ink
Aug. 30th, 2007 01:10 am (UTC)
Re: Grotesque?
oops wrong link :
http://www.prideofsafaris.com/giraffemanor.html

their tongues are really creepy, though.. disturbing.
brush_rat
Aug. 30th, 2007 01:43 am (UTC)
You got giraffes. Cool.

You left out the weirdest bit. They clean their ears with their tongue.
bellelvsbeast
Aug. 30th, 2007 01:44 am (UTC)
I love Giraffes...so beautiful and graceful...and adorable...:) I love to feed them and have their tongues lick all over my hands, hehehe
morbidloren
Aug. 30th, 2007 02:56 am (UTC)
The giraffes a the San Francisco zoo have blue tongues. Are they a different breed from yours?
urbpan
Aug. 30th, 2007 10:14 am (UTC)
The short answer to your question is yes, the SF Zoo has reticulated giraffes Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata which are a different subspecies (breed) from the FP Zoo's Masia giraffes.

My very unscientific google survey has 2160 hits for giraffe + "blue tongue" and only 1330 for giraffe + "black tongue." My question to you is, how blue are the blue tongues of the SFzoo's giraffes? The images of giraffe tongues I got when I googled the first phrase (the few that actually were of giraffe tongues) looked pretty black. I also found chow tongues being referred to as blue. I doubt that one subspecies of giraffe has a bluer tongue than any other, but it could be so.

morbidloren
Aug. 30th, 2007 12:00 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your help!
Their tongues are pretty blue. I got an opportunity to feed them a couple of years ago on a night tour and was shocked by the blueness. It fell on the darker shade of the spectrum, so might photograph as blacker than the lizard's tongue above. That said, their tongues are blue enough that people watching them eat on any given day always comment on it.

It always strikes me that SF's giraffes can also stick those tongues out a really long way. While we on the subject of what strange creatures they are: how long are giraffes' tongues?
(Anonymous)
Jul. 26th, 2008 06:43 pm (UTC)
Блог Волгоградского Бомжа
Пoлезные статьи о Seo, продвижении сайтов и заработку в интернет
(Anonymous)
Aug. 14th, 2008 11:46 pm (UTC)
........
Your blog is interesting!

Keep up the good work!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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