photo by Sergio Cambelo
Giraffes are extraordinary in many ways. They have traditional calving grounds so they can leave their new-borns in a sort of nursery when the mothers want to go off and feed. They smell of home-made insect-repellent. They neck - though not, as with humans, when they're courting, but when they're fighting off rivals.
Astonishingly, there's some evidence giraffes can relay information across great distances, perhaps by making sounds at frequencies too low for humans to hear (they snore at low frequencies, too, but as far as we know that doesn't have any special meaning).
Giraffes are jolly useful even when, sadly, dead. If you want to cure a nose bleed, then the smoke from a burning giraffe skin is said by the Bugunda people to help (this is at least as sensible as putting a cold key down the back). If, like the Humr people of Sudan, you consume a drink made of a giraffe's liver and bone marrow you are very likely to see the ghosts of giraffes.
No, you are, really. It's almost certainly something to do with the psychoactive substances found in a giraffe's acacia-leaf diet.
No wonder they always look so spaced-out.
Word To Use Today: giraffe. This word comes from the Arabic zarāfah. Cameleopard arose because the animal does look a bit like a mixture of a camel and a...but you're there before me.