Giraffe Wallpapers104

Giraffe Wallpapers

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Giraffe Wallpapers
Giraffe Wallpapers

The giraffe (Giraffa) is an African artiodactyl mammal, the tallest living terrestrial animal and the largest ruminant.Giraffe Wallpapers It is traditionally considered to be one species, Giraffa camelopardalis, with nine subspecies. Giraffe Wallpapers However, the existence of up to eight extant giraffe species has been described, based upon research into the mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, as well as morphological measurements of Giraffa. Seven other species are extinct, prehistoric species known from fossils.Giraffe Wallpapers

The giraffe’s chief distinguishing characteristics are its extremely long neck and legs, its horn-like ossicones, and its distinctive coat patterns. It is classified under the family Giraffidae, along with its closest extant relative, the okapi. Its scattered range extends from Chad in the north to South Africa in the south, and from Niger in the west to Somalia in the east. Giraffes usually inhabit savannahs and woodlands. Their food source is leaves, fruits and flowers of woody plants, primarily acacia species, which they browse at heights most other herbivores cannot reach.Giraffe Wallpapers

Giraffes may be preyed on by lions, leopards, spotted hyenas and African wild dogs. Giraffes live in herds of related females and their offspring, or bachelor herds of unrelated adult males, but are gregarious and may gather in large aggregations. Males establish social hierarchies through “necking”, which are combat bouts where the neck is used as a weapon. Dominant males gain mating access to females, which bear the sole responsibility for raising the young.Giraffe Wallpapers

The giraffe has intrigued various cultures, both ancient and modern, for its peculiar appearance, and has often been featured in paintings, books, and cartoons. It is classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as vulnerable to extinction, and has been extirpated from many parts of its former range. Giraffes are still found in numerous national parks and game reserves but estimates as of 2016 indicate that there are approximately 97,500 members of Giraffa in the wild. More than 1,600 were kept in zoos in 2010.Giraffe Wallpapers

he giraffe has an extremely elongated neck, which can be up to 2–2.4 m (6.6–7.9 ft) in length, accounting for much of the animal’s vertical height.   :29  The long neck results from a disproportionate lengthening of the cervical vertebrae, not from the addition of more vertebrae. Each cervical vertebra is over 28 cm (11 in) long. :71

They comprise 52–54 per cent of the length of the giraffe’s vertebral column, compared with the 27–33 percent typical of similar large ungulates, including the giraffe’s closest living relative, the okapi.  This elongation largely takes place after birth, perhaps because giraffe mothers would have a difficult time giving birth to young with the same neck proportions as adults.  The giraffe’s head and neck are held up by large muscles and a strengthened nuchal ligament, which are anchored by long dorsal spines on the anterior thoracic vertebrae, giving the animal a hump.  Giraffe Wallpapers

Adult male reticulated giraffe feeding high up on an acacia, in Kenya

The giraffe’s neck vertebrae have ball and socket joints. :71 In particular, the atlas–axis joint (C1 and C2) allows the animal to tilt its head vertically and reach more branches with the tongue. :29 The point of articulation between the cervical and thoracic vertebrae of giraffes is shifted to lie between the first and second thoracic vertebrae (T1 and T2), unlike most other ruminants where the articulation is between the seventh cervical vertebra (C7) and T1.   This allows C7 to contribute directly to increased neck length and has given rise to the suggestion that T1 is actually C8, and that giraffes have added an extra cervical vertebra.  

However, this proposition is not generally accepted, as T1 has other morphological features, such as an articulating rib, deemed diagnostic of thoracic vertebrae, and because exceptions to the mammalian limit of seven cervical vertebrae are generally characterised by increased neurological anomalies and maladies.Giraffe Walpapers

There are several hypotheses regarding the evolutionary origin and maintenance of elongation in giraffe necks.  The “competing browsers hypothesis” was originally suggested by Charles Darwin.

Giraffe Wallpapers
Giraffe Wallpapers

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