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What do giraffes eat?

What do giraffes eatThe giraffe browses on the twigs of trees, preferring trees of the genera Acacia, Commiphora and Terminalia, and also eats grass and fruit. The tongue, lips and palate are tough, which allows them to feed on trees with sharp thorns. In Southern Africa, giraffes feed on all acacias, especially Acacia erioloba. A giraffe can eat 65 pounds (29 kg) of leaves and twigs daily, but can survive on just 15 pounds (6.8 kg).

The giraffe requires less food than typical grazing animals because the foliage it eats has more concentrated nutrition and it has a more efficient digestive system. During the wet season, food is abundant and giraffes disperse widely, but during the dry season they need to congragate around evergreen trees and bushes. As a ruminant, it first chews its food, then swallows for processing and then visibly regurgitates the semi-digested cud up their necks and back into the mouth, in order to chew again. This process is usually repeated several times for each mouthful. The giraffe can survive without water for extended periods. Compared with domestic cattle, giraffes have a comparatively short small intestine and a comparatively long large intestine, with a resulting small ratio of small:large intestine. A giraffe will clean off any bugs that appear on its face with its extremely long tongue (about 45 centimetres (18 in)).
 

Giraffe description:

The giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) is an African even-toed ungulate mammal, the tallest of all land-living animal species, and the largest ruminant. Its scientific name, which is similar to its antiquated English name of camelopard, refers to its irregular patches of color on a light background, which bear a token resemblance to a leopard's spots. The average mass for an adult male giraffe is 1,200 kilograms (2,600 lb) while the average mass for an adult female is 830 kilograms (1,800 lb). It is approximately 4.3 metres (14 ft) to 5.2 metres (17 ft) tall, although the tallest male recorded stood almost 6 metres (20 ft).

What do giraffes eat

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