Giraffe are herbivorous browsers. When protected and food is abundant giraffe flourish, surviving well even when water is scarce. They occasionally eat grass and fruits of various trees and shrubs, but their principal food source is the acacia thorn tree.
Giraffe have extremely long tongues (45 centimeters) which are covered with thick saliva to assist in pulling twigs and shoots into the mouth where it is held between the lower teeth and the thick hard pad in the upper jaw. Giraffe do not have upper front teeth or incisors but a hard pad where teeth would normally be. The leaves are then stripped off the twigs with a backward pull of the head. Up to 45 kilograms of leaves can be harvested this way to sustain the giraffe's great bulk. The giraffe also has a modified atlas-axis joint that enables the head to reach higher in a vertical position.
A family of giraffes walking is depicted on the reverse side of the half oz 24 carat gold coin together with the word "Natura" and the denomination R50. On the obverse, a portrait of a giraffe is featured together with the words "South Africa" and the year "2006".
|Metal Content:||Au 999.9|
|Reverse Die-sinker:||A Minnie|
|Reverse Artist:||N van Niekerk|
|Obverse Die-sinker:||MJ Scheepers|
|Obverse Artist:||N van Niekerk|
|Purity:||24 carat Gold|
|Estimated Market Value: 2008||R3,500|
|Estimated Market Value: 2009||R5,500|
|Estimated Market Value: 2013||R8,000|
|Estimated Market Value: 2014||R8,500|