Whether it is a coincidence or not, it is fascinating that World Giraffe Day falls on the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere and the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere. Why is this interesting? Well, in essence, these solstices occur on the 21st of June and is the longest day in the northern hemisphere, and the longest night in the southern hemisphere. So, naturally, we should celebrate the longest-necked animals today, too!
Giraffes truly are spectacular creatures that are often very highly sought after by many first-time safari-goers. I don’t blame them. No matter how many times one has been on safari and/or how many times one has seen a giraffe, they are a masterpiece of Mother Nature. So intricately designed in so many ways and always a pleasure to look at.
Without repeating and delving into too many of the finer details about what makes giraffes such alluring creatures, I’ll leave that to a few of these previously written blogs:
- 11 Things You Didn’t Know About Giraffes
- Giraffes: Strange and Wonderful Creatures
- Ten Craziest Facts You Should Know About A Giraffe
I would like to take the time to just highlight the sheer magnificence of these jewels of Africa. Not only are they the tallest land animal on Earth with the longest necks and longest legs, these animals can run up to 60km/h with an 11kg heart pumping blood 2 meters up to their heads at a blood pressure double that of humans and with blood cells only one third the size of ours.
“Gasp!!! And take a breath!”
This requires them to have the thickest skin of any mammal to contain the pressure and ensure it does not pool in the extremities. They also have the largest eyes of any mammal, searching for their next acacia tree to wrap their prehensile blue-black tongue around the leaves. Born at 100kg they can stand within minutes.
OK, enough with the facts about giraffes. The purpose of this blog is to simply take a look and appreciate how amazing giraffes are, so spend some time perusing through this collection of Africa’s intriguing, elegant and beloved giraffe… Happy World Giraffe Day!