|Robert, Longleat 2008 by Jocelyn Bain Hogg|
I just fell in love with this photograph by Joceyln Bain Hogg. Naturally, the picture precipitated a perusal of Wikipedia's page on giraffes. I couldn't help myself. It wasn't something I had planned on writing about but my curiosity got the best of me. So, I have compiled some interesting facts on these lovely animals for you. All are courtesy of the Wikipedia website:
1. The average mass of male giraffes is 2,600 lbs and 1,800 lbs for females.
2. Approximate heights range from 4.3 to 5.2 metres.
3. Their fur is a natural defense mechanism full of antibiotics and parasite repellants.
4. It also has a characteristic scent and the male's odour is especially distinctive and strong.
5. They have the shortest sleep requirement of any mammal at 4.6 hours.
6. The giraffe name has two possible origins; from the Arabic ziraafa or from the African name zurapha.
7. Lions pose the greatest threat to their survival.
8. Giraffes are unable to swim.
9. Their necks can be over 2m in length.
10. Necks are elongated so as to allow them to reach nutrients that their competitors cannot not.
11. A giraffe heart weighs approximately 22lbs and is around 2ft long.
12. Males determine female fertility by tasting the female's urine.
13. Giraffe gestation is between 400 and 460 days.
14. Mothers give birth standing up.
15. Newborns are around 6ft tall.
16. 25-50% of newborns never reach adulthood.
17. Maximum lifespan is 25 years in the wild and 28 years in captivity.
18. Giraffes defend themselves with a powerful kick.
19. Male giraffes are hetero-flexible and one function of their necking (besides combat) is sexual.
20. Male giraffes will court and caress each other resulting in mounting and climax.
21. Only 1% of female giraffes engage in same-sex behaviours.
22. They have a long tongue, at around 18 inches, and will use it to clean bugs off their face.
23. The largest giraffe populations exist in Kenya, Tanzania and Botswana.
Who knew they were such fascinating animals. If you would like to view some more beautiful work by British photographer Jocelyn Bain Hogg please visit his website or you can purchase his prints at 20ltd.
I'll be back to regular programming shortly. I have a whole list of things I'm excited about for 2011 that I can't wait to share them with you. Stay tuned...
Oh and I almost forgot, Happy New Year everyone!