The tallest living animal is the giraffe, which usually stands 14 to 17 feet tall. Its height allows it to feed easily from trees and also obtain a long visual range over its habitat.
Much of a giraffe's height comes from its long neck, which in adults measures about 6 feet. Giraffes only have seven neck vertebrae, just as all other mammals do, but each vertebra is greatly elongated. Giraffes gain another 6 feet of height from their long legs. They can run about 35 miles an hour for short distances but cannot cross rivers or swamps easily, as they are too heavy.