Giraffidae


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Related to Giraffidae: Giraffa, Antilocapridae, Moschidae

Giraffidae

[jə′raf·ə‚dē]
(vertebrate zoology)
A family of pecoran ruminants in the superfamily Bovoidea including giraffe, okapi, and relatives.

Giraffidae

 

a family of ruminant mammals of the order Artiodactyla. There are two genera: Giraffa and Okapi. The genus Giraffa consists of a single species, the common giraffe.

The common giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) is a large animal with a short trunk on long legs (the front legs are longer than the hind ones). Height at withers, approximately 3.7 m. The neck is long, and the head is small with tiny skin-covered horns. Weight, 550–800 kg; height, 5–6 m. The main body color is light yellow with dark variegated cinnamon brown spots. The coat pattern varies from one part of its range to another; this is the basis for distinguishing several subspecies.

The giraffe is found in Africa where it lives in open steppes (savannas) with sparse trees and shrubs. Giraffes stay in small herds of 12–15 individuals (sometimes as many as 70). They feed mainly on the leaves and branches of various acacias.

Gestation is about 14 months; one young is usually produced at birth. Giraffe meat is used for food and its hide for making various articles. Giraffes have been largely exterminated by hunting; they have disappeared entirely in some parts of Africa. They are preserved primarily in national parks.

V. G. GEPTNER

References in periodicals archive ?
The First comprehensive study on The Fossil Giraffidae of India" was made by Pilgrim (1911).
Order ARTIODACTYLA Owen 1848 Suborder RUMINANTIA Scopoli 1777 Infraorder PECORA Linnaeus 1758 Superfamily GIRAFFOIDEA Gray 1821 Family GIRAFFIDAE Gray 1821 Subfamily GIRAFFOKERYCINAE Solounias 2007 Genus GIRAFFOKERYX Pilgrim 1910
Comparison and discussion: The teeth are selenodont and the enamel layer is fairly rugose so they are referred to Giraffidae (Pilgrim 1911).
The great variety found in the Pliocene Asiatic forms shows the rapidity of evolution in the family giraffidae.
Order ARTIODACTYLA Owen, 1848 Suborder RUMINANTIA Scopoli, 1777 Family GIRAFFIDAE Gray, 1821 Subfamily SIVATHERIINAE Bonanparte, 1850 Genus SIVATHERIUM Falconer and Cautley, 1835 Sivatherium sp.
Due to the very large size of the molars and strongly rugose enamel surface, the specimen can be placed in the family giraffidae (Zittel, 1925; Romer, 1974).