Q:

What do giraffes eat?

A:

Quick Answer

Giraffes eat buds and leaves from vegetation. They forage from trees, bushes and shrubs, and occasionally dine on grass. The exact makeup of their diet varies with their immediate surroundings and the season; however, all giraffes are herbivores, relying entirely on plants for food.

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What do giraffes eat?
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Full Answer

Giraffes use their strong tongues to tear leaves, shoots, flowers and buds off of vegetation. Additionally, their mouths are quite rough, so they can even eat spiny plants. Because of their long necks, they have access to a wide range of plants, ensuring they have access to a plentiful diet.

Because of their large size, giraffes require large quantities of food every day. They sometimes spend upward of 75 percent of their day grazing, especially in the dry season. A healthy adult will consume around 66 pounds of food when it's available, although they survive on a good deal less when foraging is difficult.

Although their feeding habits require constant foraging, their water requirements are much more modest. Like camels, giraffes can survive long stretches without drinking. When they have access to water sources, they drink heartily, consuming an average of 2 gallons of water a week. However, because their habitat does not always have reliable water sources, their drinking episodes are sometimes quite spread apart.

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Related Questions

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    How long do giraffes live?

    A:

    Giraffes can live as long as 25 years on the open grasslands of sub-Saharan Africa and up to 30 years in captivity. However, infant mortality is high among giraffes. Approximately 50 percent of giraffe calves do not survive past six months.

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    How long do giraffes sleep?

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    Giraffes only sleep about 30 minutes during a 24-hour period. They tend to sleep in small, 5-minute increments to maintain their safety.

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    Why are giraffes endangered?

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    The giraffe, or giraffa camelopardalis, is endangered due to habitat loss, the breaking up of habitat areas, the lack of suitability in existing habitats, poaching and new human population growth. Giraffes need to find habitats that protect them from poachers, offer solid food and fluid resources, do not have an abundance of predators and provide an overall stable environment.

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    Why are giraffes so tall?

    A:

    A giraffe's height is an evolutionary adaptation that allows it to feed from tall trees and other sources of vegetation. The long tongue of the giraffe, which can grow to 21 inches in length, is a similar adaptation designed for reaching difficult spots.

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