Q:

Why are giraffes so tall?

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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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Related Questions

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    How do giraffes protect themselves?

    A:

    Giraffes have several ways of protecting themselves, including moving in large groups that make it hard to pick out just one giraffe from the rest of the group. They also defend themselves by their fierce karate-style kicks. The giraffe's gait, or way of moving, which is called pacing, is also protective and allows them to escape from predators by both moving their back and front legs moving forward together at one time.

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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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    Why are giraffes endangered?

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    The giraffe, or giraffa camelopardalis, is endangered due to habitat loss, the breaking up of habitat areas, the lack of suitability in existing habitats, poaching and new human population growth. Giraffes need to find habitats that protect them from poachers, offer solid food and fluid resources, do not have an abundance of predators and provide an overall stable environment.

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    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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