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Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) The giraffe is the tallest animal in the world and has the largest eyes of any land mammal. Known for its spots, the Romans called the giraffe "camelopardalis," meaning "camel marked like a leopard." The spots on a giraffe are much like fingerprints on humans, no two are alike.
Giraffes use their tongues and flexible upper lips to grab acacia tree leaves, shoots, flowers and vines from the trees. They eat approximately 75 pounds of vegetation each day, but only drink water every 2 to 3 days if it is available and can go for weeks without drinking any at all. When eating, males stretch up to the food while females tend to bend down to the food. Giraffes have four stomachs just like cows.
Although the lion is a giraffe's main threat, the giraffe's first defense is to see, hear or smell the lion coming and run away. It can reach speeds of up to 30 mph for short distances. When cornered, giraffes defend themselves with kicks that have been known to kill lions. They protect themselves by kicking with their powerful legs and sleep standing up to appear less vulnerable.


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