While standing in line waiting for a fast food order (Okay, I wasn’t standing in line, my wife was.) a question of the day came up on a monitor asking “What do you call a group of giraffes?” Later the next morning my wife asked me if I knew what you call a group of giraffes. I had no idea, she didn’t either. I guess her wait wasn’t long enough for the answer to display, so I “googled” it.
What I discovered is there are a large variety of things used to describe groups of animals. A group of bears, for example is a sleuth. A group of apes is called a shrewdness. A group of zebras is called a zeal. We all pretty much know that a group of birds is a flock, a group of crows is a murder, and a group of fish is a school, but did you know a group of emus is called a mob?
Yeah, a group of emus being a mob kind of makes sense. But, it turns out, what you call a group of giraffes depends on whether they are running or standing.
A group of baboons is a congress. Hey that makes sense too. Cheetahs are a coalition. Cats get together as a clowder or a clutter. Mice are a mischief. Eagles hanging out together are called a convocation. Penguins are a rookery. Hamsters are a hoard. Kangaroos congregate in a troop. Seems like a group of wombats are called a mob too.
This leads me to discover more about what exactly is a wombat. I don’t think we have any wombats in New Mexico. The common wombat, Vomabatus ursinus, is a pretty sizeable marsupial found in Australia and some surrounding islands. They can grow to about 47’ high and weigh 80 pounds. They resemble a large guinea pig only they have pouches like a kangaroo. (In case you don’t know what a marsupial is.) Wombats sleep during the day and feed at night. So running into a ginormous guinea pig in the middle of the night might be a possibility if you’re wandering around in a farmer’s field in Australia at three in the morning.
Now a group of asses is called a pace. I rather think they’re just a bunch of asses, but, hey, I’m looking this stuff up. Rhinos get together in a crash. A group of buzzards, also fittingly, is a wake. And if you see a group of frogs, they’re an army. Ants get together in a colony and grasshoppers gather together in a cloud.
So if you’ve kept reading out of curiosity, desperately wanting to know what a group of giraffes standing around is called, they’re a tower of giraffes. Good one, huh? Giraffes are the tallest living animal at 14 feet. But if they’re on the run, more like loping, they are called a journey. They can run for short periods at around 35 mph.
And here’s something I didn’t know. To protect the giraffe’s brain when it lowers it head to drink, causing a sudden change in blood pressure, the animal has valves that stop the back-flow of blood and elastic-walled vessels that dilate and constrict to manage the flow.
So did we learn anything from today’s blog? Sure you did. The next time you see that bunch of asses sitting around the table in the break room, you know that it is a pace of asses. Oh yeah, and you know that a group of giraffes standing around is a tower.