The folks at Longleat Safari Park have had a successful program of breeding and looking after giraffes for many years - the first twin baby giraffes in Europe were born at Longleat in 1986. So they've had plenty of time to observe the baby giraffes and make note of their special qualities, behaviour and habits. Here are a few fascinating facts you may not know about giraffes:
- Every giraffe's coat has a unique pattern, as individual to it as fingerprints are to humans. That must be a help to CSI African Savannah.
- Not only are male giraffes head and shoulders above the crowd, they are also much taller than their mates. Male giraffes can reach a height of 18 feet while female giraffes are usually less than 15 feet tall.
- Ancient giraffe's had antlers. All that's left today are the short "horns" of bone covered with skin, and tufts of fur on the male giraffes, female giraffe and even the baby giraffe pictured here.
- In a race with the fastest thoroughbred horse, a giraffe would easily win. They reach speeds of 35mph on open ground and regularly travel long distances at 10mph .
- A giraffe's long and mobile tongue, used to strip rough bark and leaves off trees, can reach a length of almost 18 inches. Eeewww!