Giraffes are the tallest living land animals—males, or bulls, can reach up to 19 feet high. With long legs, long necks and tongues that measure 18 inches, giraffes can pull leaves off the thorny acacia tree, one of the dietary staples of these giant browsers of the African plains. Ironically, giraffes have the same number of vertebrae in their necks (seven) as people do—just larger! And while their legs may appear similar to those of horses, giraffes can only walk or run, not trot.
Female giraffes give birth standing up, so their six-foot tall newborns are welcomed to the world with a six-foot fall to the ground. Youngsters are born with distinct and uniquely patterned coats. They grow about 3 inches a month, doubling their height in their first two years. To drink, giraffes must spread their legs and bend at the knees in order to reach the ground. They can survive more than two-three days without water if they have access to food.
Giraffes communicate by grunts, snorts and soft whistles; calves will also bleat. In addition, giraffes will call to each other infra-sonically, making noises too low for human ears to detect.