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Sticking Their Necks Out

A few facts about giraffes, from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Attack of the Factoids

(image credit: D. Gordon E. Robertson)

Giraffes don’t make a lot of noise, but they are able to make sounds like grunts, hisses, snorts, and even moos.

Baby giraffes grow about an inch every day during their first week of life. But only about one giraffe baby in four makes it to adulthood. Big cats and jackals hunt them, and their mothers aren’t great at defense.

Giraffe males can be as tall as 18 feet; females, 14 feet.

Like cows, giraffes are ruminants, which means they have four compartments in their stomachs and they regurgitate and chew their cud.

A giraffe tongue measures about 2 feet long and is blue-black in color. Scientists think that might be so their tongues don’t get sunburned.

A giraffe’s legs are taller than the average human adult.

Giraffes have seven vertebrae in their necks— the same as every mammal.

A giraffe newborn falls from a height of about 6 ½ feet. Luckily, it’s already about 6 feet tall at birth, so the fall isn’t really that bad.

Male giraffes are often at more risk from predators than females, even though they’re larger, because they spend a lot of time alone and are easy to sneak up on.

The giraffe has only one known relative: the okapi, a mammal native to rain forests in central Africa. Okapis somewhat resemble giraffes, but have black and white striped legs and short necks.

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The article above is reprinted with permission from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Attack of the Factoids. Weighing in at over 400 pages, it's a fact-a-palooza of obscure information.

Since 1988, the Bathroom Reader Institute had published a series of popular books containing irresistible bits of trivia and obscure yet fascinating facts. If you like Neatorama, you'll love the Bathroom Reader Institute's books - go ahead and check 'em out!


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