Giraffe FAQ

By Carrie Williford | January 9, 2022

Giraffes aren’t just the world’s tallest animals, they’re also one of the coolest. Here are some quick answers to common questions about these fascinating giants.

What Kind of Animal is a Giraffe?

Giraffes are mammals. What makes them a mammal? They have hair or fur, their babies are born alive and fed with their mother’s milk, and they are warm-blooded,

What do giraffes eat?

Leaves! They eat the leaves from bushes and trees. They particularly like acacia trees. Giraffes are herbivores (they only eat plants).

Where do giraffes live?

Giraffes live in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Why do giraffes have horns?

Those “horns” are called ossicones. They fuse with the skull after birth. While both females and males have them, the males mainly use them to fight each other.

Why are giraffes’ tongues black?

The theory is that a giraffe’s black tongue keeps them from getting sunburned while they’re out in the hot sun eating from the tops of trees.

Who eats giraffes?

Giraffes’ predators include lions, leopards, crocodiles, wild dogs, and hyenas. Usually only baby giraffes are hunted as adult giraffes are very powerful and hard to take down. But, humans are giraffes’ biggest threat (through poaching and habitat destruction).

Do giraffes fight?

Yes. Males fight often and these fights can get very intense. They swing their necks at each other and use their ossicones. Male giraffes fight to establish dominance.

How long do giraffes live?

They can live up to 25 years in the wild. They may longer in captivity.

How tall is a giraffe?

They can reach between 14 and 19 feet (4.27-5.79 m) tall. Males are taller than females.

How much do giraffes weigh?

Giraffes weigh between 1,750 and 2,800 pounds (794-1270 kg).

How long is a giraffe’s neck?

A typical giraffe’s neck is bout 6 ft (1.9 m) tall.

How did giraffes get their name?

Their genus name is Giraffa. “Giraffa” comes from xirapha, an Arabic word that means “one who walks swiftly.”


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