8 Fun Facts About Giraffes

Tallest Mammals on Earth

Giraffes are the tallest terrestrial animals, with males reaching 18 feet (5.5 meters) and females shorter. 

Long Neck With Few Vertebrae

Although they have long necks, giraffes have only seven vertebrae. But each cervical vertebra is huge, measuring over 10 inches (25 cm). 

Unique Coat Patterns

Giraffe coat patterns are like fingerprints—no two are alike. Patterns provide camouflage, temperature regulation, and individual identification.

Highly Social Animals

Giraffe towers, groups of 10 to 20 animals, can have up to 50 members. Member turnover is common in these groups. 

Long Gestation Period

One of the longest gestation periods among animals is 15 months for giraffes. Due to their long gestation period, their enormous babies are well-developed and can stand and run within hours.

Unique Feeding Habits

Giraffes eat woody plants, especially acacia leaves, shoots, and fruits. They use their prehensile 18-inch (45-centimeter) tongues to grab and remove leaves from branches.

Impressive Cardiovascular System

Giraffes' powerful 25-pound (11-kilogram) heart is 2 feet (0.6 meters) long and pumps blood to their lengthy necks and heads.

Fast and Agile

Giraffes can run 10 miles per hour (16 kilometers per hour) over long distances and 35 miles per hour (56 kilometers per hour) over short ones, despite their height and ungainly shape.