11 Giraffe Facts That Might Surprise You

Facts about giraffes you've probably never heard before 🦒

Giraffes are beautiful animals who can be found roaming the savannas of Africa.

But what else do you know about them? We compiled some of our favorite giraffe facts so that you can learn more about these amazing creatures.

11 interesting giraffe facts

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1. Giraffes are the tallest mammals on Earth

These gentle giants are the tallest land animals on the planet, with females growing to 14 feet tall and males towering at 18 feet tall!

2. They’re herbivores

Giraffes only eat plants, and their long necks help them reach the best leaves, seeds, berries and branches in their favorite trees.

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3. Giraffes have dark tongues

A giraffe's dark tongue (which can be blue, purple or black) can actually prevent sunburn, which is important since it gets lots of sun exposure from all that leaf eating.

4. They love to be in groups

Extremely sociable, giraffes love to hang out in groups and even change up who they hang out with throughout the day.

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5. Female giraffes give birth standing up

Giraffes spend most of their lives standing up, and females give birth while standing, too! This means that her baby will fall approximately 6 feet as a newborn. But don’t worry — it’s totally normal, and newborn giraffes are actually able to stand up within an hour of being born. Amazing, right?

6. Giraffes don’t drink much water

While it might look like it’s a little difficult for a giraffe to drink water (just look at that neck!), she still does — she just doesn’t do it very often. In general, giraffes only drink once every few days.

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7. Giraffes barely sleep

A giraffe only has to sleep about 4.5 hours per day, with 30 minutes being a nice, deep sleep.

8. Giraffe spots are unique to each individual

Used for camouflage, a giraffe’s spots are actually cooler than you might think. Each spot pattern is unique to each giraffe (similar to fingerprints in humans).

And underneath their spots is a system of blood vessels that acts as a thermal window to regulate body heat.

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9. Their long necks help them survive

With long necks that can get as long as 6 feet, giraffes are able to spot predators, like lions and hyenas, long before those predators can spot them.

Also, having those distinctive necks helps giraffes eat from high up in the trees.

10. They’re faster than you think

Giraffes can run up to 35 mph, and their walking speed is 10 mph.

11. World Giraffe Day is June 21st every year

This date was chosen to celebrate these gentle giants because it’s the longest day of the year.

We hope you loved these giraffe facts as much as we loved researching them!