Why do giraffes have long necks?

Imagine being able to peer into a second-story window without needing to stand on your tiptoes... Welcome to a giraffe’s life. 

As the tallest creature in the animal kingdom, the giraffe has a view that can’t be beaten! 

The giraffe’s long neck is a perfect adaptation to the animal’s natural habitat. Clearly the giraffe evolved this uncommon and helpful trait in order to reach those nourishing leaves.

It is incredible that with only 7 vertebrae (the bones in your neck), the same amount as a human, the giraffe’s neck can be up to 2 meters long! 

The only difference is that a giraffe’s vertebrae can get up to 25cm long. This added length also helps against predators, because the giraffe is so big and tall they are often left alone by predators.

Another important use for the long giraffe neck is fighting amongst males which is called ‘necking’. 

Male giraffes swing their long necks and use their strong heads and horns as clubs!

Giraffes have very few predators. Besides humans, giraffes are hunted only by lions and crocodiles. 

When necessary, giraffes defend themselves with a very powerful (and deadly) kick, and then make a run for it at speeds up to 30 miles per hour!