Giraffe Facts

The giraffe is one of the most unique animals on the planet. It is the tallest mammal and even a newborn giraffe is taller than the average human being.

Giraffe Facts for Kids

  • The official name for the giraffe is Giraffe Camelopardalis, which means ‘one who walks quickly, a camel marked like a leopard’
  • A giraffe’s habitat is mostly in South Africa.
  • A giraffe has an incredibly long neck and this makes bending over very dangerous. To drink water they have to spread all four of their legs apart as part of a perfect balance that allows them to lower their neck to drink. Most of the water that they need is actually derived from the plants that they eat.
  • When a newborn giraffe is born it will stand within thirty minutes of its birth. It will be running within ten hours of being born.
  • Giraffes rarely lay down. Most of their life is spent in the standing position. They eat, sleep and even have their babies in the standing position.
  • Baby giraffes gather in nursery groups and hang out together until they are nearly five months old. They play and rest together while their mothers forage for food close by,
  • Giraffes sleep very little. They only sleep between ten minutes and two hours per day. They have the shortest sleeping cycle of any mammal on earth.

Giraffes are peaceful and social animals and will rarely be involved in a fight.

Males have been known to conduct an aggressive behavior called ‘necking’.

Although they hit each other in the neck, it doesn’t last long due to the possibility of injury.

  • Giraffes coloring is unique to human fingerprints. Every giraffe has a unique spot pattern.
  • A giraffe’s tongue is incredibly big. At around 45 cm long, the tongue is adapted to give the giraffe the ability to reach up high and forage through the trees. They can often reach leaves that other animals can’t access and also eat some types of leaves, such as acacias, that have thorns.

Giraffes are fast runners.

Their long legs give them an advantage.

Facts for Kids video

They can gallop as well as run and when they run they can reach speeds of 56 km (35 mph) per hour.