How Tall Do Giraffes Grow?

How Tall Do Giraffes Grow?
Giraffes are renowned for their height. But just how tall do giraffes grow? Female giraffes will typically grow to be up to 14 feet tall. (4.26 meters.) Males are usually significantly taller at about 18 feet. (5.48 meters.)

Of course just as there are exceptionally tall humans we can find exceptions to the rule for giraffes as well. At the moment the largest known giraffe is a resident of the Australia Zoo in Queensland. This 12 year old giraffe named Forest stands at a remarkable 18 feet and 8 inches. (5.68 meters.)

 

Are Giraffes the Tallest Animal?

 

Are Giraffes the Tallest Animal?

Forest’s 18’8″ stature seems incredible when compared to any other animal. And there’s a good reason for that fact. A giraffe isn’t just large. The species is, in fact, the tallest animal on earth. The African bush elephant sits at a distant second place with a maximum height of about thirteen feet. The tallest male elephant is still considerably shorter than even an average sized female giraffe.

To compare the giraffe to other animals, the male African savanna elephant is around 10.5 feet (3.2 meters) high. The adult male ostrich is about nine feetĀ  (2.73 meters.) tall.

 

What Is the Tallest Giraffe?

Forest’s height of 18’8″ makes him the largest officially recorded member of the world’s largest species. But could there be any larger giraffes? The answer is almost certainly yes. While Forest holds the record of tallest living giraffe there are reports of even taller specimens in the past. Chester Zoo was once home to a giraffe named George who was nearly 20 feet tall. (6.09 meters.)

 

How Tall Is a Baby Giraffe?

Now that we’ve seen the tallest giraffes we can consider the smallest. Just how big are giraffes when they’re born? Amazingly enough a newborn giraffe is taller than the vast majority of adult humans. A baby giraffe is about six feet tall when it’s born. (1.82 meters.) And these babies will typically weigh in at around 150 lbs. (68kg.)

 

How Heavy Is a Giraffe?

How Heavy Is a Giraffe?
The adult giraffe’s weight is even more impressive than that of the babies. An adult male giraffe typically weighs around 3,000 lbs. (1,360 kg.) The somewhat shorter female giraffes also weigh slightly less than the males. A female giraffe typically weighs around 1,500 lbs. (680 kg.)

For comparison, a great white shark can weigh up to 5,000 lbs. (2267.96 kg.) An African savanna elephant can weigh up to 13,000 lbs. (5,896 kg.)

 

Where Do Giraffes Live?

How Old Do Giraffes Live?
We usually see animal species spread out all over the world. However, giraffes have a very narrow habitat. They’re typically only found in the grasslands of East Africa. The Serengeti and Amboseli National Parks in particular have become an increasingly important domain for giraffes.

The species needs a large amount of fresh vegetation to stay alive. And huge spans of the land they typically live on is seeing trees removed to make way for farms and ranches. The changes to their environment makes national parks and other protected spaces vitally important for the species long term survival.

 

How Old Do Giraffes Live?

The life of a giraffe in the wild often differs dramatically from what it experiences in captivity. This is why it’s best to consider most of their lifecycle from these two perspectives. Giraffes typically live for about 15 to 25 years in the wild. They can live significantly longer in captivity due to the level of medical care they’ll receive. Assuming that a giraffe is given medical help when needed it can live up to 40 years.

Giraffes even mature at slightly different rates depending on whether they’re in the wild or captivity. Female giraffes typically reach maturity at about 3 or 4 years old in both environments. But males usually reach full maturity between 6 and 7 years old in captivity. While in the wild they’ll mature at only a slightly slower rate than females.

 

What Do Giraffes Eat?

Giraffes will eat a considerable amount of food over those decades. Asking how tall do giraffes grow also highlights how much they need to eat in order to reach those heights. The average giraffe consumes about 75 pounds (34 kg.) of food a day. This diet mainly consists of leaves from a variety of different trees. However, giraffes are particularly fond of leaves from acacia trees.

You might imagine that a giraffe would need to drink a considerable amount of water as well. However, a giraffe will usually only look for a drink every few days. This is due to the fact that giraffes can stay fairly well hydrated simply from eating fresh leaves. An individual leaf might not have much water. But 75 pounds of fresh leaves have enough liquid to keep a giraffe happy.