Just how tall is a giraffe and how do they drink? discover all around these impressively tall mammals, including vital species facts, your diet and best locations to see them in their organic habitat in our experienced giraffe guide.

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In our skilled guide through the Giraffe conservation Foundation, discover all around these impressively high mammals, including an essential species facts, their diet and also best locations to view them in their organic habitat.


What type of mammal is a giraffe?

The giraffe is an afri even-toed ungulates and the world tallest life terrestrial animal. Some various other even-toed ungulates include, hippopotamuses, deer, goats, camels, cattle, antelopes and also sheep.


How many species of giraffe are there?

A study released in Current Biology in 2016 argues that the giraffe is no a single species, however a subfamily containing four distinct varieties – the northern giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis), southerly giraffe (Giraffa giraffa), reticulated giraffe (Giraffa reticulata) and also Masai giraffe (Giraffa tippelskirchi).

To make this groundbreaking discovery, the team check DNA taken indigenous skin biopsies the 190 giraffes accumulated across Africa. This sampling contained populations from all nine previously recognised giraffe subspecies, which may now be spread throughout four different species.

The differences in each group’s genetic composition suggest that there’s small crossover between the miscellaneous species, which suggests that they have to have progressed separately.


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One of our favourite giraffe truth is that they’re probably the greatest pollinators in the people thanks to their good height. As they wander approximately feeding from the top of trees, they inadvertently transfer hereditary material on their muzzles from the flowers of one tree to those of another.

How many bones do giraffes have in their necks?

Despite being incredibly tall, giraffes quiet only have actually seven vertebrae in their necks – which means a giraffe neck has the precise same number of bones as a human being neck!


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How walk a giraffe drink?

With difficulty! A giraffe’s neck is too brief to reach the ground. Together a result, it needs to awkwardly shuffle and also spread that front foot to with the ground because that a drink that water. Fortunately giraffes only have to drink once every few days, as they can acquire most of their water from every the plants they eat.


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What execute giraffes eat?

Giraffes largely eat new leaves and twigs from the tops of tree (particularly spiky acacia trees) where various other browsing types can’t reach them. That method giraffes deserve to afford to be pickier 보다 most big animals, and also they’re also much better able to cope v droughts than smaller sized animals, together the tallest trees tend to have actually the deepest roots the reach down to water that various other trees can not access.


But you might be more surprised to find that the seemingly gentle giraffe also eats bones. Giraffes aren’t predators, therefore they don’t kill various other animals, however their substantial skeletons require much more calcium and phosphorous 보다 they can acquire from a strict vegetarian diet. The straightforward solution is come chew the skeletal from dead body to make their own bones stronger, a behaviour well-known as osteophagy.

What noise does a giraffe make?

It was previously thought the giraffes room quiet pets that don’t do a noise, but research now suggests that giraffes in reality hum greatly at night, through the sometimes snort or grunt.

How perform giraffes give birth?

Giraffes occasionally sit or lied down, yet not because that long. They do many things was standing up, consisting of sleeping, mating and also giving birth. After a gestation lasting roughly 450 days, one of the longest of any type of hoofed animal, a female giraffe drops she calf – literally. The 100kg infant falls roughly 2m come the ground, snapping that is umbilical cord.

Sometimes the mother bends her hindlegs slightly to help, however it’s still a brutal plunge. Amazingly, the child is unharmed and will be on its legs and suckling in ~ the hour. That stands end 1.6m high – tall enough to with mum’s teats.

This Q&A originally appeared in BBC Wildlife Magazine, and was reply by Ben Hoare.

What is a baby giraffe dubbed – and also how perform they was standing so quickly after birth?


A infant giraffe is dubbed a calf and incredibly it has the ability to stand, through the weird wobble, shortly after gift born. That is assumed the long gestation duration of a giraffe – 15 months – helps the calf become an ext developed for this reason it can stand and also walk in ~ a very early age.

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Will a giraffe pass out if it stands up as well quickly?

A completely grown giraffe deserve to raise or reduced its head by up to 5m, for this reason it might actually pass the end were it no for a thick network of fine capillaries (the ‘rete mirabile’) that cushions its brain against rapid changes in blood pressure.

Other adaptations to stop sudden giraffe collapse room valves to stop the back-flow of blood and elastic-walled vessels the dilate and constrict to regulate flow. NASA has even done study on the blood ship in giraffe legs to gain inspiration for human room suits.


Are giraffes endangered?

Current giraffe numbers median the IUCN classifies the animals as a types of ‘least concern’. But if the results of the study above lead to the full giraffe populace being split in between four species, the adjustment can lead to one or an ext of them gift classified as types under threat.


Where do giraffes live?

The herbal habitat because that giraffes supplied to be spread throughout North and West Africa, including the Sahara, and also along the Nile. However, this day giraffes room only discovered in sub-Sarahan Africa.

How go giraffes evolve?

Surprisingly sufficient for an afri species, the giraffe originated from Eurasia, more than likely temperate Eurasia. This genus developed seven to eight million year ago.


Are any other animals related to giraffes?

The giraffe genus (Giraffa) is component of the Giraffidae family, which consists of only one other species: the rare okapi, the closest relative of the giraffe. This forest-dweller has actually a shorter neck, just like the extinct types from i beg your pardon both it and also giraffes room thought to have evolved.

While the okapi’s black-and-white hind stripes might make you think that zebras, the same is purely coincidental.


Okapi – a loved one of the giraffe

Okapi room the only living relative of the giraffe. Both room in the Giraffidae family, through girafffes in the Giraffa genus and okapi in the Okapia genus.

Giraffidae space ruminants, and share a usual ancestor through deer and also bovids. On first sight, the 2 Giraffidae look rather different but do share a number of similar features, consisting of a long, dark-coloured tongue.

In the okapi, the tongue deserve to measure between 14 and also 18 inch long and they have the right to lick their very own ears and also eyelids.

Read our guide to okapi and learn an ext about the species


What is a team of giraffes called?

Quite aptly, a group of giraffes is called a ‘tower’. Giraffes are additionally called a herd of giraffes.

Do giraffes walk choose horses?

Unlike most other four-legged mammals prefer horses, giraffes swing both foot on the exact same side at almost the exact same time during their walk, known as ‘pacing’. Camels walk in the very same way, and also you’ll feeling the sideways movement if you ever before ride one.

When a giraffe breaks into a gallop, that is odd to walk disappears and also it runs in a an ext ‘normal’ way.

How big are a giraffe’s hooves?

Giraffe feet are the size of a dinner plate with a diameter that 30cm. These large hooves prevent giraffes indigenous sinking into loose sand regardless of their great weight.


But this is most likely wrong. A 2010 research in the journal of Theoretical Biology supplied a complex digital design to prove that the mean adult giraffe would, in fact, become buoyant in 2.8m that water.

Admittedly its hefty front foot would guideline the animal forward, for this reason to store its head clean it would have to crank that neck backwards at an aer angle, when the legs, brushed up to the rear, would have restricted power.

So a giraffe can theoretically swim, however it would practically certainly never choose to, and also it would be pretty terrible at the anyway.


just how does a giraffe swim?

If you’re wondering how you would even go around testing the bouyancy of a giraffe there is no a very big swimming pool or even a giraffe, have actually a read of this explanation by one of the study’s authors:

Can lock Swim?

N.B. Both links below go to outside sites.

Image native Henderson & Naish (2010)


How do giraffes cope through high temperatures?

It’s believed that the sample on a giraffe doesn’t just serve come camouflage the animal, but additionally helps v temperature regulation too. The coloured skin patches can act to dissipate heat around the body, together the temperature the the skin is slightly higher in darker regions, facilitating the dilation of vessels beneath the skin’s surface.

Giraffes also have an reliable nasal cooling device to regulate brain temperature as much as 3°C reduced than the rest of the body.

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How long is a giraffe’s tongue?

Giraffe tongues room huge! castle bluish-purple, prehensile and also between 45-50cm lengthy – perfect for carefully ripping fresh pipeline from between the spikes at the optimal of acacia trees.