Due to their long necks and towering legs, giraffes rank among the highest mammals on Earth. The legs of a Giraffe are about 6 feet high. Giraffes can run at 35 mph over short distances while cruising comfortably at 10 mph over longer distances.
Giraffes take advantage of their height by browsing on the leaves and flowers in trees that only a few other animals can reach. (Acacias are a favorite). Even the tongue of a giraffe is quite long! They can pluck tasty bits from branches with their 21-inch tongue. Giraffes consume a lot of food, and they, just like cows and goats, ingest the food as cud. Giraffes must travel hundreds of miles to find enough food. They can eat hundreds of pounds worth of leaves every week.
Two gaits can be used by the giraffe. One is pacing, which involves moving both legs simultaneously like the camel. The other is galloping. He pushes forward with his front legs, while the back legs extend out to the sides of the front legs when he is in high gear. His head and neck move forward, and he lifts his legs with his front legs. He is the only mammal to use his body in this manner.
His unique locomotion style allows him to glide along at 35 miles per hour, while looking slow. A giraffe is capable of traveling at around 30 mph for just a few miles. Researchers studying wild giraffes have found that they should not be chased for too long. This could lead to stress and eventually lead to heart attacks.
The main threat to the giraffe comes from the lion. This lion can reach speeds of almost 50 miles per hour. The hyena can hit 35 mph and is his second biggest enemy. If a Lion and a Giraffe raced side-by-side, the Lion would prevail over the Giraffe. But the giraffe won’t give up on a predator. The giraffe’s height and keen eyesight allow him to see lion prides from half a kilometre away. This gives him an advantage and gives him a head start. Because lions are unable to sustain their top speed for more than 100 yards, they exhaust their gas faster than the giraffe. Hyenas hunt in a cooperative fashion, which can make them more dangerous. They can race together, keeping the giraffe from falling asleep while he catches his breath.
Sometimes, a giraffe might be working under a handicap. Canny predators choose their prey by running a test to see if they can find one that is slower. Being a baby is another disadvantage. Although baby giraffes can run within one hour of birth, they aren’t strong enough to keep up the pace with their mothers. With kicks that can kill an lion or a horse, the cow will stop to protect her baby. However, if there is a large pride or clan of Hyenas nearby, the cow might not be able to save her baby and may need to run. As high as 60% is the mortality rate of giraffes less than one year old in East Africa’s Serengeti region. The rate drops to 3 percent when the giraffe reaches 3 years of age and can run as an adult.
This ranking places Giraffe at the 10th spot. Giraffe normally runs at 60 kilometers per hour. Being slower than other animals, Giraffe is also considered slow-motion.
Giraffes have strong legs and a plain palm which allows them to run faster. They are also a good food source for predators due to their large bodies.