How often do high-level giraffes be struck by lightning?

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2020-09-28 13:00:04

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How often do high-level giraffes be struck by lightning? Source:

Giraffes are considered to be the tallest animals in the world and they clearly have to be struck by lightning

Almost all of us know from childhood that during a thunderstorm it is impossible to stand under tall trees. And all because lightning often strikes on high objects, especially if there is nothing around. In such situations, it is easy to die from a strong electric shock. The world's tallest animals are giraffes and they live on open savannas. The question arises: do these creatures often die from lightning strikes? There are no exact statistics, but such cases do occur very often. In 2019, for example, two giraffes died in a thunderstorm in Florida. Usually the guards of nature simply record the fact of death and no research on this subject was conducted. But recently this gap was filled by a researcher from South Africa, who described in detail the death of two individuals. What did she learn?

What is the height of a giraffe?

The results of the scientific work were published in . Giraffes are considered to be the tallest animals on our planet because their height can reach 6 meters. It's about two or three storied houses. Due to their large growth, they can eat untouched leaves from the treetops. They also have a better chance of seeing predators approach from afar. Some scientists also believe that the long neck of giraffes is involved in regulating body temperature, but there is no conclusive evidence yet.

Giraffes can grow up to 6 meters

Lows

But the high growth of giraffes can play with them and a bad joke. Researchers have already recorded their deaths many times due to lightning strikes. In 2017, a group of giraffes of eight individuals was released to the African reserve Rockwood. Animals quickly got used to a new place and preferred to stick together because. Conservationists regularly observed them and on February 29, 2020 noticed that the group lacks two giraffes. Two days later, their bodies were found in an open area, seven metres apart.

The place of death of giraffes is marked with a red star. As you can see, there are a lot of bushes around, but one of the individuals was in the open area

Giraffes disappeared after a severe thunderstorm. Therefore, the researchers were not surprised to find a hole left by a lightning strike on the skull of one of the individuals. Apparently, lightning attracted the so-called Ossicon giraffe - so called growths on their heads, which resemble horns. However, these are horns in the truest sense of the word and they are often used by giraffes in fights. In the video below, you can see how the giraffes fight. You'll probably notice that they're aiming at each other's necks, because that's the most vulnerable part of their body.

Apparently, after the impact the death of the first giraffe came instantly. It can't be otherwise, because the current force in the category of lightning is from tens of millions to a billion volts. The second individual also clearly died of electric discharge, but how exactly, no one is clear. Lightning may have bounced off the first victim and struck the second individual. Or it may be that the discharge spread across the ground and struck the second giraffe from below.

Skulls of dead giraffes. A hole can be seen on the right skull

Safety during a thunderstorm

The mistake of the animals was that they did not hide from the rain and continued to stand in the open area. But they could have sat in the nearest bushes and waited out the storm. Previous studies have shown that during rain giraffe activity decreases by 13%. This means that some of them are still aware of the danger and try to wait out the storm in a secluded place. But there is no scientific evidence that giraffes are able to hide in the rain. Most likely, after the publication of the results of this study, scientists will study the behavior of giraffes with greater responsibility. The new knowledge will help them develop a plan to protect them from lightning strikes, because these creatures are already vulnerable. At the moment there are about 150,000 giraffes in the world.

This may surprise you, but after being struck by lightning, many people survive. In history, there was a man who survived as many as seven lightning strikes. His name is Roy Sullivan and we wrote in detail about his life. Enjoy reading!

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