What do giraffes eat?

Answer
Giraffes are herbivores and primarily feed on leaves, twigs, shoots, and fruits from various trees and shrubs. Here are the key points about a giraffe's diet:
  • Their diet consists mainly of leaves and buds from trees and shrubs, especially from the Vachellia (formerly Acacia) genus135. They use their long tongues and ridged palates to strip leaves from branches.
  • Giraffes are browsers and spend most of their day (up to 75%) feeding3. An adult giraffe can consume around 60-75 pounds (27-34 kg) of vegetation per day15.
  • They adapt their diet based on the available vegetation in their habitat and the season. During the dry season, they feed more on evergreen plants near water sources3.
  • Giraffes eat a variety of plants, including:
    • Acacia trees with large thorns, using their tongues to avoid the thorns2
    • Old bones for calcium and phosphates, especially when pregnant (osteophagy)2
    • Prickly pear cactus during winter for extra nutrients2
    • Small quantities of poisonous Euphorbia trees to kill parasites2
  • Their diet is high in fiber and low in nutritional quality compared to other herbivores3. Females tend to have a more nutritious diet than males.
  • Giraffes play a role in seed dispersal and pollination through their feeding habits3.
In summary, giraffes are highly adapted browsers that consume large quantities of leaves, twigs, and other vegetation from various plants, adjusting their diet based on availability and their nutritional needs1235.
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