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The Incredible Giraffe

Updated on November 21, 2017
ArtByLinda profile image

Linda is an amateur artist and photographer who loves to travel with her husband of 37 years.

Just How Tall is a Giraffe?

Have you ever wondered just how tall a Giraffe really is?

Can you imagine standing next to a Giraffe and seeing just how far you could touch on their neck?

Could you even reach their neck?

Find out the answer to this and other facts about these amazing animals here.

All photos on this page are (c) by Linda Hoxie, all rights reserved

The Giraffe - "Colossal in Height" - How tall is a Giraffe?

Photo copyright by Linda Hoxie
Photo copyright by Linda Hoxie | Source

How Tall are They?

The Giraffe is the tallest of all living animals.

Males can be up to 18 feet tall.

(As tall as a 2 story building)

The female giraffe is up to 16 feet in height.

Did you know;

At birth, a newborn baby giraffe

is already 6 feet tall,

the height of a full grown man!

The Giraffe's "Horns" - What are they called?

giraffe knobs
giraffe knobs

Photo © by Photographer Linda Hoxie

Giraffes have two distinct, hair-covered horns called "ossicones" on top of their head.

The Giraffe: Magnificent in Appearance - What does a giraffe look like?

Photo above © by Photographer Linda Hoxie
Photo above © by Photographer Linda Hoxie | Source

What does a giraffe look like?

The Giraffe is very tall and lanky.

They have very long legs, that are six feet long.

Just think about it, a giraffe's legs are as tall as an average man. Many of us could walk right underneath a Giraffes belly and not even have to duck. (Used as an example of height only, if you meet a giraffe in person, walking under their belly is not recommended!)

They have extremely long necks, also six feet long.

Though their necks only have 7 vertebrae,

(Each vertebrae can be over 10" long!) Imagine one vertebrae almost a foot long, wow!

Some Giraffes have lumpy heads - These are made of calcium deposits

Giraffes nose
Giraffes nose

Photo © by Photographer Linda Hoxie

The also have very lumpy heads, as they age they get calcium deposits that build up on their head, like the giraffe above.

What does a Giraffe's feet look like - The tend to be large

Photo © by Photographer Linda Hoxie
Photo © by Photographer Linda Hoxie | Source

The feet of a Giraffe

The giraffe's feet can be as large as a dinner plate, twelve inches wide.

The above photo is the feet on a baby giraffe, you can see how much wider they are than their legs.

The Giraffe's Coat or spots - Each Giraffe has it's own Unique pattern in their coat

Photo © by Photographer Linda Hoxie
Photo © by Photographer Linda Hoxie | Source

The coat of a Giraffe is Unique

Each Giraffe has it's own Unique pattern in their coat. You can see the difference in the spots on this mother giraffe and her baby. But their coat is spotted in a square pattern on most, dark in the middle and lighter on the outer squares.

The Giraffe: Unique in Gait - How the Giraffe Moves

Giraffe Walking (c) by Linda Hoxie
Giraffe Walking (c) by Linda Hoxie

The Giraffe moves like no other

The Unique movement of the Giraffe.

When a giraffe walks it moves both right legs forward, then both left.

When they gallop, however, the giraffe simultaneously swings the hind legs ahead of and outside the front legs, reaching speeds of 35 miles an hour.

Giraffes on Amazon

Baby giraffe running

The Giraffe: How and What do they Eat? - What does a giraffe eat?

Giraffe eating leaves (c) by Linda Hoxie
Giraffe eating leaves (c) by Linda Hoxie

What does a giraffe eat?

The giraffe lives on the Savanna, in the Sahara. It is dry and the green vegetation is very high!

This suits the giraffe perfectly, they are herbivores, and eat a diet of around (75 lbs)

of leaves and twigs daily.

As ruminants, they first chew their food, swallow for processing and then visibly regurgitate the semi-digested cud up their necks and back into the mouth, in order to chew again.

Their favorite leaves are from the acacia tree. Acacia trees have long thorns that keep most animals from eating the leaves. But those thorns don't stop the giraffes! They simply use their 18-inch tongues, (yes you read that right, 18" tongues!) to reach around the thorns. Their tongues almost look bluish black in color, as you can see in the photo I took above.

The Giraffe: Breeding - and Life expectancy

Baby Giraffe (c) by Linda Hoxie
Baby Giraffe (c) by Linda Hoxie


Giraffes are polygamous, a few older males in the herd will mate with all the females.

The female giraffe's gestation is around 14 months long.

Baby giraffes have a bit of a rude awakening as they "drop" into this world, literally dropped six feet onto their head.

The drink milk from their mothers, and start eating leaves around four months of age.

Mothers will often leave them with other young in the herd in a type of nursery while they forage for food.

Baby giraffes are most often the prey of lions and crocodiles.

Life expectancy

In the wild the giraffes life expectancy is twenty to twenty-five years.

In captivity it is around 28 years.

Baby Giraffe

The Giraffe: Can you say insomaniac? - Could you survive on a Giraffe's amount of sleep?

giraffe sleeping
giraffe sleeping

Sleep Deprived: Or just don't need it?

The giraffe has one of the shortest sleep requirements of any mammal, which is between 10 minutes and two hours in a 24-hour period, averaging 1.9 hours per day.

In the wild it is probably a good thing they sleep so little, as they are very vulnerable when they sleep.

So what do you think, could you survive on a Giraffe's amount of sleep?

The Giraffe: A Gentle Giant

Giraffe Behavior

Giraffes are Social Animals.

They are non-territorial.

They rarely fight, males will sometimes display a behavior called "necking", where they will hit necks aggressively, when the females are in heat. But they rarely injure each other, and displays do not last very long.

Giraffes can moo, hiss, roar, and whistle.

Giraffe's Necking


Thank you so much for stopping by, please drop a note so I know you were here.

Thank you,


Thank you for visiting.

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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice lens! I think giraffes are such magnificent creatures :)

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      7 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Giraffes are such interesting looking critters!

    • Ben Reed profile image

      Ben Reed 

      8 years ago from Redcar

      I love giraffes - a stunning lense.

    • CNelson01 profile image

      Chuck Nelson 

      8 years ago from California

      Nice lens...from a fellow giraffe fan.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      They're huge! I knew they primarily ate from leaves but didn't know they ate what they already ate before...that's a little gross. I fed them biscuits once and boy did my hand get slobbery.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Giraffes are a work of art in themselves. Really tremendous creatures I would love to be a zookeeper and take care of one.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Beautiful pictures!

    • profile image

      Close2Art LM 

      8 years ago

      I love taking pictures of giraffes at the zoo..great lens

    • GonnaFly profile image


      8 years ago from Australia

      So tall!!!! This lens has been blessed and added to my animal alphabet lens.

    • profile image

      pimbels lm 

      8 years ago

      Giraffes have beautiful eyes. I love them. Thank you for a great lens.

    • rob-hemphill profile image

      Rob Hemphill 

      9 years ago from Ireland

      Lovely lens! Giraffes are such graceful animals, and a joy to watch in the wild. The way they wrap their tongues around the acacia leaves avoiding the nasty thorns - amazing. I have fond memories of seeing them in Tsavo National Park in Kenya with many other wild animals.

    • TapIn2U profile image


      9 years ago

      Very cool lens! In my entire life, I've never seen a giraffe. And I always wanted to see one of them.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I love your giraffes, was neat to see the one you did for me there! As usual you are so informative, I learned more, hope to remember it! love, Mom

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image


      9 years ago

      Absolutely amazing and beautiful

    • GramaBarb profile image


      9 years ago from Vancouver

      What a pleasure to visit your giraffes! Blessed.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Gorgeous photos and art. Giraffes have been my favorite animal since childhood :) Thanks for a great lens!

    • norma-holt profile image


      9 years ago

      Great lens beautifully crafty with lovely pics and well researched. Featured this on Save Planet Earth - animals

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      It's so fantastic animal lense. Love all your Giraffe pictures and information. Thanks for sharing. Give you 5 stars, dear ArtByLinda :)

    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 

      9 years ago from New York City

      I was here. I enjoyed all the giraffe talk and learning some new things. Thanks.

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 

      9 years ago from La Verne, CA

      the pen and ink would be a lovely coloring page for kids. Merry Christmas

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Great Lens! I liked it!

    • WildFacesGallery profile image


      9 years ago from Iowa

      I love the "First Kiss" image. :)

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 

      9 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      i love this tall animal. pictures in this lens are grate. well presented lens.

    • jlshernandez profile image


      9 years ago

      I love giraffes adn this llens made me fall in love with them even more. It is hard to believe how a 5 day-old baby can run so gracefully without being wobbly. Thumbs. up. Favorited.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      This is a very nice lens.

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 

      10 years ago

      Just dropping by as you are the featured Giant today and happened to pick this superb lens. Having lived many years in Africa and seen many Giraffes in the wild. It made my day to see them so beautifully presented here. Always have been one of my favourites.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Wow, Giraffes are amazing and beautiful creatures!

      Awsome lens and very informative. Here's 5 stars from me!

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      10 years ago from Southampton, UK

      What a great lens, wonderful photos. I love giraffes, and I was fortunate enough to go on safari in Kenya and to see them in the wild, that was fantastic. You did an amazing job on this lens, 5*****

    • religions7 profile image


      11 years ago

      Great lens - you've been blessed by a squidoo angel :)

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      I love the photos and everything on your site, it is a one in a life time opportunity to be that close for pics! Me and my family all love Giraffes, They are so Elegant and soft, loving creatures! I also liked the drawing and painting Linda, Way to Go everyone!

    • profile image

      the power of j 

      11 years ago

      5* lens. beautiful photographs and lovely paintings too. i have linked to my giraffe collectibles lens. please come and visit some time.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      I think giraffes are truly amazing creatures! Never knew that their life expectancy was around 28 years -- that's incredible. You've got some great pictures!

    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 

      11 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      Another gorgeous lens. Great job, Linda.

    • dahlia369 profile image


      11 years ago

      This is a Beautiful lens, the photos, the layout - everything seems to be perfect - congrats! :)

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      We love animals and we love giraffes. Lovely photos and fab Oil painting Linda. 5*s

    • WhiteOak50 profile image


      11 years ago

      This is really cool. I really like the lay out in your lens, it looks all festive! <---did I spell that right?

      Anyway good job and great info about the giraffes.

    • Wendy L Henderson profile image

      Wendy Henderson 

      11 years ago from PA

      I really love this lens. Great job. 5 stars.

    • ZenandChic profile image


      11 years ago

      I don't know why, but I love giraffes. I have been very attracted to giraffe things lately. This is a very cool lens on them. Great info and pictures! Love it!

    • nightbear lm profile image

      nightbear lm 

      11 years ago

      Oh my gosh, what a beautiful lens. I love all animals, and the interesting facts about giraffes was wonderful. I loved the baby running , and the fact that they can get by with only 10min to 2 hours of sleep a day, definitely not much sleep.

    • debnet profile image


      11 years ago from England

      Well I never knew they had lumpy heads! 5*****

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Another great lens Linda good job 5 stars


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