Why Are Giraffes so Tall?

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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.

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.