Q:

Why are giraffes so tall?

A:

Quick Answer

A giraffe's height is an evolutionary adaptation that allows it to feed from tall trees and other sources of vegetation. The long tongue of the giraffe, which can grow to 21 inches in length, is a similar adaptation designed for reaching difficult spots.

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Why are giraffes so tall?
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Full Answer

Giraffes can grow up to 19 feet in height and weigh nearly 3,000 pounds. While the giraffe's height is advantageous for eating and searching for predators, it also poses difficulty when the animal needs to drink from a watering hole. When kneeling, a giraffe must splay its legs, making the giraffe vulnerable to predators such as lions and crocodiles. Despite this, giraffes rarely need to drink and derive most of their water from vegetation.

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    BioExpedition explains that giraffes reproduce through mating. Male giraffes are typically ready to mate when they are 6 years old, although more mature bulls often mate first before the younger ones. Female giraffes are ready to mate when they are around 4 years old.

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    Are giraffes endangered?

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    The general giraffe population throughout Africa is starting to decline, with the West African giraffe having the lowest population at less than 300. With less than 80,000 giraffes in Africa, the Giraffe Conservation Foundation is working hard to create conservation methods to protect the current population and help it grow.

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    Giraffes have 32 powerful teeth that they use to grind and chew up food, such as leaves and twigs. However, their teeth are positioned at the back of their skull and not the front of their mouth. Humans can feed giraffes without concern of being bitten.

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    What do giraffes look like?

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    The giraffe is a tall mammal with long legs, a spotted coat and an elongated neck. This mammal is the tallest in the world, with male giraffes growing as tall as 18 feet.

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