|[ Matt's World of Wicked Giraffes]|
Giraffes are highly selective browsers, feeding primarily on a variety of Acacia and Combretum Trees. Over a hundred different species may be eaten, depending on what is seasonally available. Although mostly leaves and shoots are taken, giraffes also eat flowers, vines and herbs. Giraffe have also been seen to eat weaver-bird nests with young inside, and may chew on bones, perhaps to gain additional minerals.
An average of 16-20 hours per day are spent feeding and up to 140 lbs. of fresh foods are taken. Thorns do not seem to be a deterrent to feeding; the long, prehensile, muscular tongue (which can be extended up to 18 inches), thick, gluey saliva, and special upper palate shape enable the giraffe to process thorny foods. They are ruminants with a 4-chambered stomach, which means they regurgitate their food and chew it again.
Zoo Diet: Alfalfa, ADF16 grain mix, and produce.