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African Giraffe Wood Carving - Hand-painted Shona Art from Zimbabwe!Product DescriptionA gorgeous hand carved wooden Giraffe hand painted in Zimbabwe. This is a goregeous piece with fantastic attention to detail This could be a great conversation piece by a fireplace possibly or on a table or bookshelf. Weighs approx 15oz. Thanks for looking.GiraffeFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaGiraffeAMaasai giraffeinMikumi National Park,TanzaniaConservation statusLeast Concern(IUCN 3.1)Scientific classificationKingdom:AnimaliaPhylum:ChordataClass:MammaliaOrder:ArtiodactylaFamily:GiraffidaeGenus:GiraffaSpecies:G. camelopardalisBinomial nameGiraffa camelopardalis(Linnaeus,1758)Subspecies9, seetextRange map of the giraffe divided by subspecies.Thegiraffe(Giraffa camelopardalis) is anAfricaneven-toed ungulatemammal, thetallestlivingterrestrial animal and the largestruminant. Itsbinomial namerefers to itscamel-like face and the patches of color on its fur. Its chief distinguishing characteristics are its extremely long neck and legs, its horn-likeossiconesand its distinctive markings. It stands 5–6 m (16–20 ft) tall and has an average weight of 1,600kg (3,500lb) for males and 830kg (1,800lb) for females. It is classified under thefamilyGiraffidae, along with its closest extant relative, theokapi. There are nine subspecies, which are distinguished by their coat patterns.The giraffe's scattered range extends fromChadin the north toSouth Africain the south, and fromNigerin the west toSomaliain the east. Giraffes usually inhabitsavannas,grasslands, and openwoodlands. Their primary food source isacacialeaves, which they can browse at heights that most other herbivores cannot reach. Giraffes are preyed on bylions, and calves are also targeted by leopards,spotted hyenasandwild dogs. Adult giraffes do not have strong social bonds, though they do gather in loose aggregations if they happen to be moving in the same general direction. Males establish social hierarchies through "necking", which are combat bouts where the neck is used as a weapon.Dominantmales gain mating access to females, who bear the sole responsibility for raising the young.The giraffe has intrigued various cultures, both ancient and modern, for its peculiar appearance, and has often been featured in paintings, books and cartoons. It is classified by theInternational Union for Conservation of Nature(IUCN) asLeast Concern, but has beenextirpatedfrom many parts of its former range, and some subspecies are classified asEndangered. Nevertheless, giraffes are still found in numerousnational parksandgame reservesAppearance and anatomyCloseup of the head of a giraffe at theMelbourne ZooThe coat has dark blotches or patches (which can be orange,chestnut, brown or nearly black on color) separated by light hair (usually white orcreamin color). Male giraffes become darker as they age.The coat pattern serves ascamouflage, allowing it to blend in the light and shade patterns of savanna woodlands.The skin underneath the dark areas may serve as windows forthermoregulation, being sites for complex blood vessel systems and large sweat glands.Each individual giraffe has a unique coat pattern.The skin of a giraffe is mostly gray.It is also thick and allows them to run through thorn bush without being punctured.Their fur may serve as a chemical defence, as it is full of parasite repellents that give the animal a characteristic scent. There are at least eleven mainaromaticchemicals in the fur, althoughindoleand3-methylindoleare responsible for most of the smell. Because the males have a stronger odor than the females, it is suspected that it also has a sexual function.Along the animal's neck is a mane made of short, erect hairs.The 1m (3.3ft) tail ends in a long, dark tuft of hair and is used as a defense against insects.Fully grown giraffes stand 5–6 m (16–20 ft) tall, with males taller than females.The average weight is 1,600kg (3,500lb) for an adult male and 830kg (1,800lb) for an adult female.Despite its long neck and legs, the giraffe's body is relatively short.Located at both sides of the head, the giraffe's large, bulging eyes give it good all-round vision from its great height.Giraffes see in colorand their senses of hearing andsmellare also sharp.The animal can close its muscular nostrils to protect against sandstorms and ants.The giraffe'sprehensiletongue is about 50cm (20in) long. It is purplish-black in color, perhaps to protect against sunburn, and is useful for grasping foliage as well as for grooming and cleaning the animal's nose.The upper lip of the giraffe is also prehensile and useful when foraging. The lips, tongue and inside of the mouth are covered inpapillaeto protect against thorns.Skull and ossiconesBoth sexes have prominent horn-like structures calledossicones, which are formed from ossifiedcartilage, covered in skin and fused to the skull at theparietal bones.Beingvascularized, the ossicones may have a role in thermoregulation.Appearance is a reliable guide to the sex or age of a giraffe: the ossicones of females and young are thin and display tufts of hair on top, whereas those of adult males end in knobs and tend to be bald on top.There is also a median lump, which is more prominent in males, at the front of theskull.Males developcalciumdeposits that form bumps on their skulls as they age.A giraffe's skull is lightened by multiplesinuses.However, as males age, their skulls become heavier and more club-like, helping them become more dominant in combat.The upper jaw has a groovedpalateand lacks front teeth.The giraffe'smolarshave a rougher surface than those of some other mammals.Legs, locomotion and postureThe front and back legs of a giraffe are approximately the same length. Theradiusandulnaof the front legs are articulated by thecarpus, which, while structurally equivalent to the human wrist, functions as a knee.The foot of the giraffe reaches a diameter of 30cm (12in), and thehoofis 15cm (5.9in) high in males and 10cm (3.9in) in females.The rear of each hoof is low and thefetlockis close to the ground, allowing the foot to support the animal's weight.Giraffes lackdewclawsand interdigital glands. The giraffe's pelvis, though relatively short, has aniliumthat is outspread at the upper ends.A giraffe has only twogaits: walking and galloping. Walking is done by moving the legs on one side of the body at the same time, then doing the same on the other side.When galloping, the hind legs move around the front legs before the latter move forward,and the tail will curl up.The animal relies on the forward and backward motions of its head and neck to maintain balance and the counter momentum while galloping.The giraffe can reach a sprint speed of up to 60km/h (37mph),and can sustain 50km/h (31mph) for several kilometers.A giraffe rests by lying with its body on top of its folded legs.To lie down, the animal kneels on its front legs and then lowers the rest of its body. To get back up, it first gets on its knees and spreads its hind legs to raise its hindquarters. It then straightens its front legs. With each step,the animal swings its head.The giraffe sleeps intermittently around 4.6 hours per day, mostly at night.It usually sleeps lying down, however, standing sleeps have been recorded, particularly in older individuals. Intermittent short "deep sleep" phases while lying are characterized by the giraffe bending its neck backwards and resting its head on the hip or thigh, a position believed to indicateparadoxical sleep.If the giraffe wants to bend down to drink, it either spreads its front legs or bends its knees.Giraffes would probably not be competent swimmers as their long legs would be highly cumbersome in the water,although they could possibly float.When swimming, the thorax would be weighed down by the front legs, making it difficult for the animal to move its neck and legs in harmonyor keep its head above the surface.*********************************************************************************************Please browse through my other listings in my eCRATER store here:http://stores.eCRATER.com/africancraftworkYou will find :Exclusive hand carved Shona Stone sculptures.Musical instruments from Zimbabwe such as drums, mbiras, maracas & marimbas.Wire frame & beaded motorcycles, cars and animals, all hand assembled.An expanding quality selection of baskets and batik wall hangings.Walking sticks, masks and other ethnic curio & artifacts.Thank you!inkfrog terapeaki000000inkFrog Analytics