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The giraffe is the tallest animal in the world, attaining a height of 5.5 metres. Its incredibly long neck accounts for much of its height. Adult males generally reach a height of about 5 meters and females about 4.5 meters. Big males can weigh a massive 1200 kilograms while females usually weigh some 800 to 900 kilograms.

There may be at least six species of giraffe that are reproductively isolated and not interbreeding though no natural obstacles, like mountain ranges or impassable rivers, block their mutual access. In fact, the study found that the two giraffe populations that live closest to each other are the reticulated giraffe and the Masai giraffe.

Both sexes of the animals have horns although the horns of a female are smaller. The prominent horns are formed from ossified cartilage and are called ossicones. The appearance of horns is a reliable method of identifying the sex of giraffes, with the females displaying tufts of hair on the top of the horns while males' horns tend to be bald on top.

Giraffes have long necks. Contrary to popular belief, giraffes can both lie down and lower their heads, thanks to special adaptations in their circulatory systems which prevent their heads from filling with blood when lowered below their hearts. They possess seven vertebrae in the neck, the usual number mammals that are elongated. The vertebrae are separated by highly flexible joints. The base of the neck has a spine which projects upward and forms a hump over the shoulders. They have anchor muscles that hold the neck upright. With the advantage of their very long necks, giraffes are able to feed on the foliage of trees that is not accessible to other herbivores. The long prehensile tongue is used to pull pods and leaves into the mouth which are then stripped from the stems with the spatulate incisor teeth.

Giraffes also have slightly elongated forelegs, about 10% longer than their hind legs. The pace of the giraffe is an amblgait, though when pursued, it can run extremely fast. It cannot sustain a lengthy chase. When hunting adult giraffes, lions try to knock the lanky animal off its feet and pull it down. Giraffes are difficult and dangerous prey though, and when attacked the giraffe defends itself by kicking with great force. A single well-placed kick from an adult giraffe can shatter a lion's skull or break its spine.

The male's fight for dominance, and for the right to mate with females, It is something fascinating to watch. They use their long muscular necks to strike at an opponent's body and wrestle by twining their necks around each other. The loser is pushed off balance and the encounters very rarely lead to serious injury.

However, giraffes are generally quiet animals that go about their business with an air of serenity. It is only when disturbed, they will snort and, when attacked by predators, they bellow.

Many female giraffes live in small social groups while males have been known to fight over territory and partners. The lifespan of a giraffe is around 20 years, with captive giraffes generally living longer.

 

Based on the passage given, write a summary on :

the characteristics of giraffes

in what ways they are different from other animals

 

Your summary must:

be in continuous writing ( not in note form )

not be longer than 130 words, including the 10 words given below

 

Begin your summary as follow:

The giraffe is the tallest animal at a height of ...

 
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Answer
 
The giraffe is the tallest animal at a height of 5.5 meters. They have anchor muscles that hold their long neck upright. Using their long necks, they feed on the foliage of trees that is not accessible to others. They use their long prehensile tongues to pull pods and leaves into their mouths. The pace of the giraffe can be extremely fast. When attacked, it defends itself by kicking with great force. A single well-placed kick can shatter a lion's skull. Giraffes use their long muscular necks to strike and wrestle by twining their necks around each other. Generally, they are quiet animals. Many females live in small social groups while males have been known to fight over territory and partners. The lifespan of a giraffe is around 20 years. (130 words)
     
 
 

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