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Diet and Digestion - Giraffe

Year 9 Science Project

Sophie H

on 4 September 2012

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Transcript of Diet and Digestion - Giraffe

Giraffes Type: Mammal
Diet: Herbivore
Average life span in the wild: 25 years
Size: 4 to 6 m
Weight: 794 to 1,270 kg
Type of Consumer: Herbivore Habitat Giraffes live in open habitats, like an open woodland, savannas or forests growing along a water source.
Giraffes do not like to live in moist forests or closed in places Diet... Giraffes are Herbivores so their diet consists of only plants.
They eat the leaves of a variety of leaves, shrubs, vines and flowers.
An adult giraffe can consume up to 70 kilograms of foliage in a day. Mechanical Digestion Giraffes have long, strong tongues that can be as long as 7 centimetres. This long tongue helps them reach leaves that are high up on the tree.
On their tongues, giraffes have thick saliva which enables them to eat thorns from trees are shrubs with out getting hurt. Chemical Digestion Many Herbivore (including the giraffe) do not have front incisors as they do not need these teeth to cut their food.
In these animals, molars are much more important as they are needed for grounding their food. The giraffe has four stomachs that the food travel through to be digested. This is because it is very hard to digest leaves and grass so it takes the digestion system some time. Giraffes do not need to drink much water as there is a lot of moisture in and on the plants they eat. First, the food goes to the first stomach (called the rumen) and the second stomach (called the reticulum) where the first stages of the digestion takes place. Next, the food is regurgitated back into the animals mouth where it is chewed again. The Giraffe will eat over 100 different varieties of leaves, shrubs, vines or flowers, but their favorite species is the Acacia tree.
Some seeds from this tree cannot germinate without passing through the digestive system of a giraffe. Then the re-chewed food is swallowed again and goes into the third and forth part of the stomach (called the omasum and the abomasum) where digestion continues. The Giraffes' tongue is dark coloured which is thought to protect the tongue from the harsh African sun. Giraffes can spend up to 16 hours, or even 20, eating each day Bibliograhy
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