Giraffes and camels are both related to one another. They belong to the Artiodactyla order of animals meaning even-toed ungulates. All ungulates are hoofed animals with an equal number of toes on each foot and more than one stomach. For the giraffe and camel, the similarities end there, so what are the differences between the two? Find out in this giraffe vs camel article.
Giraffe vs Camel: Size
Giraffes are the tallest animals on earth. The males are taller than the females. Males can reach 5 – 5.9 m (16.4 – 19.3 ft) high, with females reaching 4.3 – 5.2 m (14 – 17 ft). The average weight for a male is 1,192 kg (2,628 lbs). Females are lighter at 828 kg (1,825 lbs).
Camels are way shorter than giraffes, with an average shoulder height of 1.8 m (5.9 ft). The top of their hump can reach 2.1 m (6.9 ft). Camels can vary a lot in weight, with the lightest weighing 300 kg (660 lbs) and the heaviest being 1,000 kg (2,200 lbs).
Giraffe vs Camel: Anatomy
The main characteristic of the giraffe has got to be its neck which is exceptionally long and can measure 1.8 m (6 ft)!
Scientists are still undecided on why the giraffe evolved to have such a long neck. One thing is for sure it lets them get at the leaves that no other animal can reach. Males also use their long necks in combat when fighting rival males in fights called “necking”.
Males swing their necks like clubs hitting each other with their heads for up to half an hour before a victor emerges. Both male and female giraffes have what look like horns but are, in fact, ossicones that can grow 13.5 cm (5.3 in). Ossicones differ from horns and antlers as they are fused to the skull and covered in hair. Older males have bald ossicones from years of fighting.
Camels are recognisable by their humps. It was once thought that the humps stored water, but they actually store fat. This fat is released as energy when there is a shortage of food and water. There are two species of camel. The dromedary camel has one hump, while the Bactrian camel has two humps.
Camels are well suited for the harsh environments they live in. They have long eyelashes and eyebrows to keep sand out of their eyes. If they get grit in their eye, they can wipe it out with their third eyelid. Camels can even fully close their nostrils to keep sand out.
Giraffe vs Camel: Colour
Giraffes are covered in large and small patches of Cheshunt brown to almost black fur. The mane that runs along the entire length of their neck is usually brown. The rest of the camel is cream in colour. Camel’s coat is light to dark brown all over.
Giraffe vs Camel: Habitat
Giraffes live in the plains of the savannah and open woodland of sub-Saharan Africa. Camels thrive in the deserts they inhabit, perfectly adapted to the drastic temperature changes. Camels are native to China, Mongolia, Northern Africa and the Middle East.
There is a feral population of dromedary camels in Australia. British India and Afghanistan imported them in the 19th century during the colonisation of Australia’s central and western parts.
Giraffe vs Camel: Diet
Giraffes feed on Acacia, Commiphora, Combretum and Terminalia trees. They can eat 34 kg (75 lbs) of foliage a day. Camels will eat any leaves, twigs and grasses they can find, as food is hard to come by in the desert.
Giraffe vs Camel: Predators
A giraffe is well protected against attacks from predators because of their tall height. A predator must bring them to their knees to deliver a killing blow which can be difficult. With the giraffe’s height and good eyesight, they can often see a predator coming. Giraffes are known to kick any animal that gets too close. One kick can inflict a lot of damage.
Only an immense lion pride can tackle a full-grown giraffe, but this rarely happens. On the other hand, Giraffe calves are a lot more vulnerable and can be easy prey for cheetahs, crocodiles, leopards, lions, hyenas and wild dogs.
The only wild dromedary camels are the feral ones in Australia. Young camels can be preyed upon by dingo’s. The biggest threat the dromedary camel faces is people. As they are an invasive species, the government culls them from time to time. There are only 1,000 Bactrian camels left in the wild, and their main threat is humans.
Giraffe vs Camel: Domestication
Nearly all camels alive today are domesticated, with the first camels used thousands of years ago by people. Camels can be used for riding and pulling carts, and their hair for wool, milk and meat. Giraffes have never been domesticated.
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