There are so many interesting giraffe facts about the tallest animal on our planet. So let’s get started.

First, giraffes are about 15-20 feet tall, more than 3 times the height of a person. And baby giraffes are born 6 feet tall and weigh an average of 200 pounds. Imagine!

And you should see them drink, which they don’t do but every couple of days. They have to splay their legs out and crane their long necks forward.

giraffe facts

Giraffes can grow to over 20 feet tall.

giraffe facts

Why is a giraffe’s tongue purple?

Second, they have tongues over 1.5 feet long. Since they only eat plants, they use their height and long tongues to reach high tree branches.

But why are their tongues purple? Hmm. Giraffes feed constantly so their tongues are out in the bright, hot African sun all the time. The purple color keeps their tongues from getting sunburned. Brillant!

And one interesting giraffe fact we wish we hadn’t read? A male tests whether a female is ready to mate by smelling or tasting her urine. Yum!


Where Do They Live?

giraffe facts

All giraffes live in Africa. Graphics: Peppermint Narwhal

All giraffes live in Africa, except those in zoos and other conservation groups. And how many kinds of giraffe are there?

Well, there seems to be some disagreement but we are going with 4 species and a number of subspecies. The four are Masai, northern, southern and reticulated.

Giraffes are rated Vulnerable with less than 100,000 left on the planet.


Why are Giraffes Important?

As a keystone species, giraffes keep the trees in the savannahs of Africa pruned much like landscapers.  And because they eat over 75 pounds of leaves a day, they move around a lot in search of food. As they ramble from one place to the next, they disperse seeds from the plants they are eating.

Also, they help smaller animals elude prey. Since they are so tall, they can see predators like lions coming. When a giraffe starts running, all the other animals know to run too. Pretty darn smart!

In the photo, Dale is checking out 4 giraffes in Kenya. To be in the wild with them on foot is a once in a lifetime experience.

giraffe facts

Dale watching giraffes in Kenya.

giraffe facts

Giraffes have to splay their legs to drink.

Easy Steps to Help

Learn more about giraffes and post photos and giraffe facts on social media.

Support an organization working to protect giraffes. We like the Giraffe Conservation Foundation.



Learn More

Giraffe Facts by LiveScience

Why Are Giraffes Endangered? by Greentumble

The Top 10 Children’s Books about Giraffes published in The Guardian


giraffe facts