Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata
Sentries of the Savanna
The giraffe is the tallest animal in the world. They grow from 14-19 feet tall and weigh from 1,700-2,800 pounds. Giraffes are beneficial to the other African herbivores because of their height. A giraffe is tall enough to have a much wider scope of an area and will watch out for predators.
The giraffe evolved a long neck to reach high leaves, making it easier to survive during resource shortages. Tall individuals are less likely to fall victim to starvation.
Range: Open woodland and wooded grassland of Africa, south of the Sahara.
Conservation Status: Lower risk, increasingly rare in West Africa.
Did you know?
A giraffe’s heart is about 6 feet above its hooves and 9 feet below its brain; therefore they have an especially thick sheath of tight skin around the slender lower half of each leg to maintain high extra vascular pressure, just like the effects of a “G-suit” worn by fighter pilots.