Giraffes are one of the most iconic animals on the planet, and can be found in many habitats across Africa. They range from around 4.5 to 5.5 metres tall when standing on all fours. Their necks alone can be up to 2 metres long, making them one of the tallest mammals on Earth!
Giraffes have long necks that give them a lot of advantages. They use their height to see predators like lions before they attack. It also helps them get leaves from trees which is what giraffes eat. Giraffes drink water by scooping it up with their tongue. If a predator does attack, giraffes kick them with their strong hooves or slam into them with their head or horns to protect themselves. Their kick can kill a lion.
The giraffe's spots are unique to each giraffe, which makes it easy for them to recognize each other. Males have dark patches with a patchwork of white hairs in between. Females have much lighter patches that fade into a creamy yellow colour. Male and female giraffes distinguish each other easily by their pattern of spots. The tuft on the end of a giraffe's tail is used for balance when they move around in trees. Since there are no leaves in trees, the tuft has nothing to grab onto so it helps keep them balanced when moving around. When males get older, their necks thicken and turn brown like an upside down heart shape; however females never get this thick or brown coloring even when they are old.