- Why do giraffes have long necks?
Serious question. Given the problems this causes with blood-pressure and suchlike wouldn’t it make sence to have a horse-type neck and much longer legs to reach the higher leaves? The bigger stride would also make them faster.Posted 6 months ago
Quiet day at work, just thinking to myself whilst I was on hold to HMRC. My colleagues weren’t terribly helpful on the subject.maccruiskeenSubscriber
wouldn’t it make sence to have a horse-type neck and much longer legs to reach the higher leaves?
they need to drink as well as eat so with long legs its as important to be able to reach down as up
But in that ‘strictly biological and mating success sort of way’ they fight for a mate by swinging their heads around like clubs tooPosted 6 months ago
They have to be able to reach up high to forage in trees and also to lower their heads to drink. That means that the blood pressure changes from raising and lowering their heads won’t be affected by the proportion of neck to leg length. The best compromise is probably to have the heart half way between the head and feet, so having longer legs and shorter neck wouldn’t resolve the blood pressure problems.Posted 6 months ago
Patron Saint of HorsesPosted 6 months ago
Lots of theories. One is the well known one for reaching leaves at higher branches. Another is all about sexual selection, the fights between males are mostly won by the male with a bigger neck. Another is that the long neck may have to do with regulation of body temperature.Posted 6 months agomolgripsSubscriber
They evolved, they weren’t designed. Their legs probably evolved as long as they could get whilst still being strong enough and not too heavy and still be able to move them with any kind of strength. But the evolutionary pressure to reach high up leaves still existed, so long necks were also considered a benefit.
But really the gene mutation that made their legs long probably affected their entire body and made all their bones long, also their neck. Most really tall humans have long legs, long arms and long torsos after all.Posted 6 months agowwaswasSubscriber
If you do twitter then https://twitter.com/search?q=%23CrowboroughGiraffes is worth a browse and trending *right now*Posted 6 months agoBeagleboySubscriber
“Africa was very interesting,” said Ford, “I behaved very oddly there.”…”I took up being cruel to animals,” he said airily. “But only,” he added, “as a hobby.”
“Oh yes,” said Arthur, warily.
“Yes,” Ford assured him. “I won’t disturb you with the details because they would-”
“Disturb you. But you may be interested to know that I am singlehandedly responsible for the evolved shape of the animal you came to know in later centuries as a giraffe.”
Life, the Universe and Everything. Douglas Adams, 1982Posted 6 months ago
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