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*Read Ebook Ø Tall Blondes: A Book about Giraffes ⚢ Hundreds of books have been written about dogs and cats Dozens about lions and tigers and bears But how many non scholarly books have been written about giraffes one of nature s most intriguing and unique animals None Until nowYou know Lynn Sherr as a veteran journalist and as a leading correspondent for the ABC news magazine, but you probably didn t know that she has been an avid giraffophile since a visit to the African wilderness nearly twenty five years agoThe days of the giraffe being overlooked and under appreciated are over with the publishing of Tall Blondes,a one of a kind book about a one of a kind animal The giraffe s unusually long neck and legs make it one of the most recognizable creatures on our planet But it also possesses a wide range of other fascinating and endearing traits and features And while most giraffes are blondes, they come in beautiful arrays of red, brown, and even whiteSherr traces the cultural history of the giraffe, from it s first appearance in Europe inBC thanks to Julius Caesar through medieval bestiaries and up to the modern giraffe star of a TV movie The book is not just about giraffes in the wild it s about how they have impacted on humans and visa versa , stirring the imaginations of artists, writers and thinkers Taking a whimsical approach to her very serious subject, Sherr has filled it with little known tidbits, awe inspiring photographs and drawings, and intriguing tales about the world s tallest land animalRead it, and you ll not only learn about why Sherr a tall blond herself has fallen head over heals for this gawky but graceful animal you ll fall in love too I love giraffes with a passion, yet so few books or wildlife documentaries focus on them Big predators and dangerous herbavores, such as hippopotamus, get all the attention Lynn Sherr, who shares my fascination with giraffes, has sought to remedy that This book is a charmer with not only facts about giraffes, but anecdotes, folktales, ancient ethnic art featuring giraffes, and stories about a few giraffes that became famous Not for those seeking hard science But if you just want to squee ov I love giraffes with a passion, yet so few books or wildlife documentaries focus on them Big predators and dangerous herbavores, such as hippopotamus, get all the attention Lynn Sherr, who shares my fascination with giraffes, has sought to remedy that This book is a charmer with not only facts about giraffes, but anecdotes, folktales, ancient ethnic art featuring giraffes, and stories about a few giraffes that became famous Not for those seeking hard science But if you just want to squee over giraffes and enjoy learning about wildlife, you might like this one After reading Sherr s 2012 book, Swim Why We Love the Water, I had overly high expectations for this book While I did learn fascinating factoids about giraffes, the book didn t have the personal touch that made Swim so enjoyable, perhaps because Sherr offers no frame story to breathe life into all the cultural history about giraffes This book often seems like an outline for a research report, especially chapters that do littlethan list her favorite quotes about giraffes It makes for a After reading Sherr s 2012 book, Swim Why We Love the Water, I had overly high expectations for this book While I did learn fascinating factoids about giraffes, the book didn t have the personal touch that made Swim so enjoyable, perhaps because Sherr offers no frame story to breathe life into all the cultural history about giraffes This book often seems like an outline for a research report, especially chapters that do littlethan list her favorite quotes about giraffes It makes for a easy to put down book with very few pages without indented, italicized quoted passages Liked it Didn t love it Despite all I ve said, I learned numerous things about giraffes Here are my favorites They are the tallest quadrupeds 10 Males reach 18 ft and weigh 1.5 tons Females reach 16 ft and weigh.5 ton The tallest was 19 3.Each cloven hoof is the size of a dinner plate 10 They are one of the only animals born with horns, which can number up to five 11 Giraffes are not mute They have vocal chords but rarely use them They don t need to Their monumental size lets them see and communicate readily with their eyes 11 They have no tear ducts but have been seen to cry 11 They have never been seen to bathe 11 They sleep only about a half hour a day usually in the form of five minute giraffe naps 11 When walking, giraffes move both right legs at once, then both leftFor the gallop up to 35 MPH , all four legs seem to leave the ground at once and the neck pumps along rhythmically 12 Mating is a brief event, with no apparent emotional attachment, leading to a fifteen month pregnancy In the wild, giraffe moms to be are modest, seeking privacy to give birth They do so standing up In an hour or so, the baby is born, or rather dropped nearly six feet tall and often up walking within fifteen minutes 12 13 Its scientific name is camelopardis, which literally describes a camel s body wearing a leopard s coat 16 In 1805 a dealer named George Wombwell brought the first live giraffes to England From 1826 to 1828, live giraffes arrived in Paris, London , and Vienna, each a gift from the pasha of Egypt to the reigning monarch The animal sent to Vienna was welcomed with a grand formal ball and a newly invented dance best translated as the giraffe trot 36 The most likely scenario is that about five million years ago, as the climate in Asia and Europe grew cooler and dryer, animals that had evolved from Palaeotragus and Bohlinia or perhaps from a common ancestor ambled back to Africa Thus, modern giraffes may well be immigrants to the continent we now see as their homeland 40 The giraffe s heart is an enormous two feet long and twenty five pounds 50 The giraffe walks with both legs on a side moving in tandem in other words, right rear, then right front, then left rear, then left front 52 Atop the head are knobby horns, or,properly, ossicones, bumps of cartilage, covered with skin and hair, that start out as plates under the skin, then grow, ossify, and fuse to the skull Both male and female giraffes have horns, but the bull has three, and they get larger and heavier as a result of frequent head banging Some giraffes have five horns, for reason not yet fully understood 53, 55 Giraffes also play host to a number of birds, most notably the oxpeckers, or tick birds, who roam their enormous bodies in search of ticksIn addition, black piapiacs sometimes hitch a ride to snap up insects from the surrounding airspace 59 After fifteen months in the womb, babies, or calves, are born headfirst and dropped six feet to the ground from the standing mom Boom Welcome to earth The calf itself weighs close to 150 pounds and measures almost six feet tall it is usually up on its spindly legs within an hour, a vital defense against a hungry enemy She relates an anecdote of a giraffe that was up and running in a few minutes to escape a predator Even so, predators and disease claim about 75 percent of all babies within the first year 65 66 Immediately after birth, the giraffe cow moves her calf a short distance to an area of safety Here the calf is completely isolated from all other giraffes for a period which may last as long as a month During this time, the calf stays in the area, lying down and moving very little The cow returns two to three times a day to allow the calf to nurse She may go up to 15 miles away from the hidden calf for water or food 69 Giraffe necking is play fighting or even serious combat that entails swinging their necks at each other and striking body blows with the headthese are practice dominance matches, preparing the animal for the day when it may use the sledgehammer force of the flexible club that is its neck with the added weapon of its bone hard horns, to defeat and outrank another bull 71 A male s head can weigh 24 pounds, three times that of a nonfighting female, and the force of one of these blows may lift an opponent clear off his feet Emily and Ola D Aulaire, wildlife writers, 1974 72 one of the longest pregnancies in the animal world about fifteen months a condition that is still difficult for humans to detect Cows bear their first calf when they are about five years old, and have been known to deliver up to ten babies over the course of a lifetime 74 Finally, their brains Are giraffes smart Does it matter It has been suggested that they may communicate with their necks and tails, in a kind of mammalian semaphore system Or that they may use ultrasonics, a high pitched signal, to contact each other 74 75 What kind of person can shoot a giraffe It can t be for sport, because giraffe just stand there and look at you through long eyelashes Betty Leslie Melville, giraffe raiser, 1977 95 When the sultan of Egypt wanted to fortify his ties with Florence and Lorenzo de Medici, he sent a giraffe along in November 1487For several years the sweet tempered visitor entrances the citizens of Florence, nibbling fruit from the hands of young girls and poking its head into second story windows for apples during daily walks through the city 100 In 1826, King Charles X was gifted a giraffe by the pasha of Egypt In Marseilles she was a grand celebrity, dressed in a special body cloth decorated with the arms of France She was the subject of a daily column in the newspaper she was the coveted star of numerous dinner parties given by the prefect s wife, during which honored guests in evening clothes would troop off to her stable to observe her by torchlight Regular folks could see her during her daily promenade, a 12 2p.m event that drew hordes 104 Conversely, in 1827, George IV of England, who was gifted a giraffe from the pasha of Egypt at the same time was often mocked for his giraffe by political pundits While there I learned that some 90,000 visitors have come to Kenya s Giraffe Manor, now an educational center operated by the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife Schoolchildren are a special priority, especially African school children, since the center claims that 85 percent of Africans have never seen wild animals 117 She lifted her face and saw him, even taller than she had expected, his neck so long, his delicate nose so high, that a person could imagine him nibbling at stars Gladys Schmidt, Consider the Giraffe, 1978 135 First read February 28, 2017 I purchased this book in the late 1990s when it first came out It s sat on my bookshelf collecting dust ever since I was initially attracted to it because a I love, love, LOVE the clever title and b what maniacal person wouldn t like giraffes They re such docile, interesting mammals I figured one day I d like to learnabout them, and this book should probably cover it I also like how the book isn t traditionally shaped, it s long and slender, much like its four legged subject.So, I purchased this book in the late 1990s when it first came out It s sat on my bookshelf collecting dust ever since I was initially attracted to it because a I love, love, LOVE the clever title and b what maniacal person wouldn t like giraffes They re such docile, interesting mammals I figured one day I d like to learnabout them, and this book should probably cover it I also like how the book isn t traditionally shaped, it s long and slender, much like its four legged subject.So, after years of Tall Blondes gathering dust on my bookshelf, I finally decided it was time to read something completely different from a fictional novel or biography If someone asked me what my favorite animal was, I probably wouldn t immediately think of or say giraffe I m not obsessively crazy about giraffes, but upon much pondering, I think they re pretty fascinating and beautiful creatures Unfortunately, this book didn t provide me with the excitement for giraffes for which I was hoping It felt like reading someone s research paper or dissertation It was a compilation of anything and everything giraffe that s ever been said, written, or drawn throughout history It contained quote after quote after quote, without much being written by the author herself to engage the reader There also wasn t much coherence or chronological order to the chapters Although this book was released in 1997, its contents would be the equivalent of someone Googling the word giraffe and reading through all of the results in the random order in which they re presented on the screen It didn t really give me much insight into the giraffe itself, from birth to death, although some of the photos were very nice, and I loved reminiscing over giraffe related Far Side cartoons I learned a few interesting facts and insights into giraffes, but not enough for me to recommend this book That s the long and short of it