Why are giraffes so tall?
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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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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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Related Questions

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    Are giraffes endangered?

    A:

    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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    How do giraffes vomit?

    A:

    Since giraffes are ruminants, it is very rare for the animal to vomit and, in the very rare instances that they do regurgitate food out of their mouths, it will still be different from vomiting. Questions about the way giraffes vomit spark some curious interest given that the animals have very long necks. However, due to the unique structure of its digestive system, it is almost impossible for giraffes to vomit in the way as some people imagine it to be.

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  • Q:

    Why do giraffes have horns?

    A:

    Giraffes have horns because they are used as weapons during inter-species conflicts. Male giraffes battle with other males for access to resources, such as food, water or mates. While both genders possess the horns, the horns of males lack the tufts of fur that female horns bear. This is because the fur and skin are worn off the male’s horns as they battle with other males.

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  • Q:

    What do giraffes eat?

    A:

    Giraffes eat buds and leaves from vegetation. They forage from trees, bushes and shrubs, and occasionally dine on grass. The exact makeup of their diet varies with their immediate surroundings and the season; however, all giraffes are herbivores, relying entirely on plants for food.

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