Giraffe coat colors vary from light tan to nearly black. As of 2014, there are nine definite subspecies of the giraffe that differ in habitat and lifestyle, which accounts for their varying colorations. The markings on one subspecies of giraffe, the Thornicroft, may darken with age.
All subspecies of the giraffe have brown splotches over a lighter tan coat. Some subspecies have defined patterns, such as oak leaf shapes on the Masai giraffe or very small, thin beige lines between splotches on the reticulated giraffe. Giraffes are the tallest mammals in the world, reaching 14 to 18 feet in height. Giraffe babies are born 6 feet tall and grow up to 1 inch per day.