What Are Some Interesting Facts About Giraffes?

David Brossard/CC-BY-SA 2.0

The giraffe is the tallest animal in the world, and giraffe babies are taller than most humans. Baby giraffes stand within 30 minutes of birth and are capable of running alongside other giraffes after 10 hours of life. No two giraffes have identical sets of spots.

The hairs on a giraffe’s tail are 10 times thicker than human hair. The bristles on a giraffe’s tongue allow them to eat thorny items, such as acacia trees. Males establish dominance with a form of behavior known as necking, which is the act of butting necks. Necking does not harm them, and it usually does not last beyond a few minutes. Males can have up to three horns on their heads. Giraffes spend a majority of their lives standing up, even while giving birth and sleeping. Giraffes have minimal sleep requirements and rest anywhere from 10 minutes to two hours a day.

Giraffes are social animals and rarely fight each other. Young giraffes form nursing groups until they are 5 months old. Giraffes in nursing groups play and rest while the mothers forage for food. Giraffes have four stomachs that help them digest food. The spots and fur on giraffes act as good camouflage against predators. A giraffe is most vulnerable when drinking water, since the neck is exposed.