How Many Hearts Do Giraffes Have?

By Carrie Williford | November 28, 2021

Just the one! Despite how big the giraffe is, they only have one heart.

A giraffe’s heart weighs as much as 25lbs (11 kg) and is 2 ft long. 1 The heart has to work extra hard to pump blood up to the brain, which is very far away, sitting atop that long neck. 2

How does a giraffe’s heart fight gravity to get blood all the way up to the brain? A giraffe has very high blood pressure — twice as high as humans! 2

The right ventricle pumps blood solely to the giraffe’s lungs. That leaves the left ventricle to pump blood everywhere else, including to the brain. The trick is that the left ventricle has a very thick muscular wall which enables it to pump blood with more force than other mammals’ hearts. 3

  1. Giraffe Fact Sheet,” Nature, July 15, 2020 []
  2. Anne Innis Dagg, 5 Giraffes: (Markham, Ontario: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2016) [][]
  3. How does a giraffe’s heart work?,” Giraffe Conservation Foundation, accessed November 28, 2021[]