Like camels, giraffes can go for a long time without drinking water because their diet — especially acacia leaves, their favorite food — contains a lot of water. When they do get thirsty, they have to bend down awkwardly to drink, which makes them easy targets for predators. To help protect themselves, giraffes usually go to watering holes together and take turns watching for predators.
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A giraffe’s heart is 2 feet (0.6 meters) long and weighs about 25 pounds (11 kg). The giraffe has an extremely high blood pressure (280/180 mm Hg) which is twice that found in humans. Additionally, the heart beats up to 170 times per minute double that of humans.
When a giraffe calf is born, it drops to the ground head first from about 6 feet (1.8 meters) high. The fall surprises the calf and makes it take a big breath, but doesn’t really hurt it. The calf can walk after about an hour, and it can run with its mom just 10 hours after it’s born.
In the wild, giraffes will sleep only about 20 minutes a day — and usually not more than five minutes at a time — as they need to stay alert to watch for predators.
Many male giraffes check whether a female’s in heat by nudging her to make her pee. They can usually tell by smell, but some males will even taste the urine to see if she’s ready to mate.