The giraffe’s long neck allows it to reach food other animals can’t reach.

What’s the tallest animal in the world? You’re right – the giraffe! A male giraffe is about 18 feet tall. How tall are you? How many kids your size would it take, standing on each others’ shoulders, to reach the height of a giraffe???

Giraffe eating leaves from tree.

The cool thing about this animal is not only its long neck, but also its four long legs. No wonder it can reach food the other animals can’t!

What’s simple for some animals, can be very difficult for a giraffe – taking a drink of water, for instance. Think about how you would do this if you were a giraffe. You’d have to put your front legs way out in front of you and slowly tip your head down, being careful not to do a forward somersault (and get the hippos laughing at you!).

Drinking from a stream.

When you pick up your head and extend your neck again after your refreshing drink, you’re lifting 550 pounds! What a workout! Not only that, but while bent forward like that you’re very vulnerable to predators. It would be impossible to run away quickly if a lion were to show up. Good thing you can store water like a camel and can go several days without drinking.

Thorny acacia tree

I was surprised to see the giraffes eating the thorny acacia trees. Just look at those long thorns! I learned that a giraffe has a very tough mouth and tongue to be able to deal with these. Plus they eat only the outer part of the branches where the thorns aren’t too big yet – very clever, eh?

A herd of giraffes

While driving through the countryside, we often saw just a few giraffes hanging out together. We were delighted by this site of a herd of giraffes one afternoon. How many giraffes can you see in this photograph? Look carefully. There are more than you see at first glance.

I was interested to see that giraffe mommies look after their babies, just as mommies in most other animal species do. They keep them close and protect them against predators.

















Looking closely at these photos and videos, what do you notice about a giraffe that you never knew before? How would the Serengeti ecosystem change if there were no giraffes living there?


57 thoughts on “Giraffes

  1. Well I am 5 feet tall so that would mean we would need about 3 of me, and 1 3 foot person and that would equal up to 18 feet.

    • We saw about a dozen baby giraffes. They were very cute, and much smaller than the parents, even though they were still very tall for an animal.

    • Yes, they have excellent balance. Their bodies are just the right length and width to allow them to balance on those long spindly legs.

    • Every animal has body parts that help it to survive. The elephant has its trunk. The lion has its powerful legs. The giraffe has its long neck and legs. They have these because their species has evolved over time (and continues to evolve). Each generation that grows up and reproduces is able to pass its genes on to the next generation, that will have a similar (but perhaps slightly different) body. If this body allows it to survive to adulthood, it too will reproduce and pass its characteristics along.

  2. Giraffes are one of my favorite animals but I have some questions on the topic

    Why do they have spots?
    How big are they when they are born?
    Are there necks long when they are born?
    What color are there tongs?

    I hope you can answer these Questions

    • Giraffes have brown blotches on their skin for two reasons. First, it helps them camouflage themselves among the trees. The dark and light of their coat looks like sunlight and shade from a distance. Second, there are sweat glands in the darker areas, allowing them to sweat and cool themselves. Their tongues are black – quite unusual for an animal. Most, but not all, animals have pink tongues. For more information on the giraffe tongue, read the other replies.

      A newborn giraffe is about 6 feet tall and weighs almost 150 pounds! Yes, they have a long neck when they’re born. They look like a miniature version of their parents.

  3. Did you know that when a baby giraffes are born they fall about 10 feet from the mother giraffe to the ground!
                                                                                                                                                                          from Christian

  4. Dear Ms.Christie Blick,
    I just wanted to know what animals eat the giraffe,and I also want to know if it does get eatten how does the predator eat it of its so tall? ps have fun while your researching.bye

    • The big cats eat the giraffes: lion, chettah, leopard. They run very fast and then leap onto the giraffe, sinking their teeth into its neck. Gross to think about, but the good part is that the giraffe would die quickly and then be out of pain. Once the giraffe is killed it falls over, so it would be easy to eat.

    • Brilliant Kate! People who study about the animals ahead of time get much more out of the experience. You will love it!

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