Weekly Photo Challenge: Two Subjects
This photo of a lovely, large, mature female Maasai Giraffe was taken by me in the Tarangire National Park in Tanzania, Africa. This park is hilly and has thick grass by the edge of woodlands, a favorite setting of the stunning Impalas. A group of male Impalas are resting in the grass around the giraffe. To get a sense of how large the giraffe is, the impalas’ height from chest to horn tips while sitting is about three feet. You can find the impalas by looking for their long dark horns in the grass.
These females grow to about 18 feet tall. Male giraffes have a third horn that protrudes from the center of their forehead. They grow up to 21 feet tall. Their heart is 25 pounds! It takes a lot of heart to pump blood up that long neck. Giraffes feed on tall Acacia trees. Their long tongue is about 20 inches long, which they use to wrap around the leaves in between the long and sharp Acacia thorns.
Impalas stand about three feet tall at the shoulders. Their neck, head and horns can be just as tall. Impalas can jump three feet in the air and up to 30 feet in length. They are amazing animals! Females don’t have horns. Young males and adult males that do not have a harem of females band together, which is what you see in this photo. Their horns look like dead branches in the grass. Lions and other big predators avoid adult giraffes, which can kill them with a swift kick, so the impalas can enjoy a period of rest while the giraffes graze nearby.
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