Q:

What is the world's tallest living thing?

A:

Quick Answer

The tallest living animal is the giraffe, which usually stands 14 to 17 feet tall. Its height allows it to feed easily from trees and also obtain a long visual range over its habitat.

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Full Answer

Much of a giraffe's height comes from its long neck, which in adults measures about 6 feet. Giraffes only have seven neck vertebrae, just as all other mammals do, but each vertebra is greatly elongated. Giraffes gain another 6 feet of height from their long legs. They can run about 35 miles an hour for short distances but cannot cross rivers or swamps easily, as they are too heavy.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are the predators and prey of the giraffe?

    A:

    Giraffes are strict herbivores that eat seedpods, flowers, leaves and fruit. While their size and ability to see predators at great distances help them to avoid most predators, lions, hyenas, leopards and crocodiles occasionally catch and eat giraffes.

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  • Q:

    What does a giraffe look like?

    A:

    Giraffes have incredibly long necks and vary in color from light tan to nearly black. They have markings on their coat that are as individual as a human's fingerprints.

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  • Q:

    What does a giraffe say?

    A:

    The sound made by male giraffes is similar to a loud human cough and is used to attract a potential mate. Researchers have observed giraffes making noises both in the wild and in captivity, often during the mating season.

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  • Q:

    How long are giraffe tongues?

    A:

    A typical giraffe tongue is 18 to 20 inches long. The tongue is prehensile and is used in combination with the roof of the giraffe's mouth to eat a variety of plants and shoots, typically from the Acacia species.

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