Giraffes are among the most beloved and amazing wild animals you can see at just about any zoo.  Their sweet faces and seemingly peaceful demeanor endear them to our hearts.  If they weren't so huge, we would all want to take them home and keep them as pets.

Giraffes are the tallest living land mammal.  Some actually tower over the rest of the animal kingdom by measuring more than 19 feet in height.   Because of their great height, they can feed on new leaf growth in the top branches of trees which others simply cannot reach.

Their tremendous height, coupled with their excellent eyesight, gives them an even greater advantage.  They can literally see danger coming long before other animals, which allows them to clear the area before it arrives.

Somali Giraffes aka Reticulated Giraffes

The Giraffes Ossicone

Take a closer look at the introduction photo above.  It clearly shows what some refer to as horns on the top of the giraffes head.  They are not horns though, they are called ossicones.  Giraffes and Okapis are the only living animals that have ossicones, which probably explains why most would think they are horns.  We simply don't think ossicone when we see the protrusions on heads.   Ossicones are made up of cartilage, which is flexible connective tissue as opposed to bone which makes up horns or antlers.  Another major difference is that ossicones are covered with skin and fur, unlike a horn that is bare bone.

More Interesting Facts About Giraffes

Mother & Baby Giraffe Photo
by Sylvestermouse
  • Height Up to 19.5 feet
  • Length of Body:  Up to 15 feet plus a 39" tail
  • Weight:  Up to 2600 lbs.
  • Excellent Eye Sight
  • One of Two of the Only Animals that have Ossicones
  • Running Speed Approx. 34 mph
  • Sleeps Lying Down with Head on Hindquarters
  • Food:  Leaves, Grass & Grain
  • Life Span:  26 years in the Wild, 36 years in Captivity
  • Habitat:  Open Woodland and Savannah
  • Lives in Sub-Saharan Africa 
  • Protected Species in Most Areas

Endanger Status -  Currently listed as "Least Concern" but population decreasing, with *3 Species Classified as Endangered

(*Endangered:  West African Giraffe, Rothschild Giraffe, & Nubian Giraffe)


A Giraffe Photo You Must See!

I love photographing the graceful giraffes!  It seems like almost anything they do makes me smile.  On this particular day, I noticed a spot on the giraffe's leg and got a little concerned.  The camera lens worked perfectly to zoom in and check it out.  I thought you might enjoy seeing what the spot on the giraffe's leg was too.


Baby Giraffes are Always Fun

Like all babies, baby giraffes are exciting to see and fun to watch.

Baby Giraffe Photo by Sylvestermouse

Bring Home Your Own Giraffe Today!

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  1. Love this article and love giraffes generally. They are such TALL animals.

  2. Giraffes are beautiful animals. Always been one of my favorites at any zoo I've visited. The information about the Ossicones was interesting. I knew they weren't horns, but didn't know there was a specific name for those protrusions on a giraffe's head. Love learning new things!

  3. A beautiful animal for sure, I always enjoy watching them at the zoo, and I thought those were horns so thanks for that. I also never knew they could run so fast. Well I guess you learn something new every day.

  4. Awww, my little plush giraffe is SO happy to be a part of this wonderful story about the beautiful Giraffe! Thank you for including him.


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