Its elegant silhouette dominating the savannah, the giraffe never ceases to fascinate. Both gentle and graceful, it has become the totemic animal of the Hotel Les Deux Girafes. But did you know that a giraffe’s size is not its only fascinating characteristic?
Although capable of growing to a height of more than five metres, the giraffe remains a mammal - almost - like others. Its long neck has seven cervical vertebrae, just like us and like all land mammals. The difference, however, is that each of its vertebrae measures no less than 40 cm. The giraffe has been studied closely by NASA because its circulatory system is a perfect example of adaptation to gravity. To irrigate its brain and avoid overloading it with blood when it lowers its head, the giraffe has developed a whole system of valves and annular muscles around its arteries. From the tips of its legs to its muzzle, this fascinating animal’s arterial and venous system is a masterpiece of adaptation...
Beautiful and graceful
Although the giraffe makes comparatively few sounds, it nevertheless uses its eyesight a lot. Moreover, each giraffe bears a different pattern of markings, allowing each one to be individually recognisable. Its tall stature allows the giraffe to reach its favourite delicacy: tender acacia leaves. No matter how well protected they are by sharp thorns, these small shoots cannot escape the long and prehensile tongue of the giraffe. And that tongue is… blue! To accompany the acacia leaves, the giraffe happily adds flowers, seeds, fruits and pods to its diet. On days of abundant foraging, it can consume up to 70 kg of food. That’s enough to provide all the energy it needs to majestically roam the savannah with its fellow tallest living terrestrial animals ...
What animal is more fascinating than the giraffe? Graceful and elegant, peaceful and quiet, it dominates the African plains in its own inimitable way. That’s enough for us to make it our totem!
Photo: Anna Om
Hotel Les Deux Girafes, a 4-star boutique hotel in the heart of the Bastille-République district