How Giraffes Work | Stuff You Should Know Podcast (Transcript)
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Length: 57 mins
Welcome to Stuff You Should Know, from HowStuffWorks.com.
Josh Clark: Hey and welcome to the podcast. I‚Äôm Josh Clark and there‚Äôs Charles W. Chuck Bryant and Jerry‚Äôs over there, so that makes this Stuff You Should Know.
Charles W. Chuck Bryant: Amazing animal edition.
JC: Yes, a special request fulfilled animal edition.
CB: Yeah, we should tell the story, huh?
JC: Oh, yeah for sure.
CB: [Laughs] There‚Äôs no way we cannot tell the story because it‚Äôs the cutest thing that‚Äôs happened in a long time.
JC: It really is. So we did a show in Vancouver in September something, right?
CB: Yeah, in real time, it was last week for us. We usually don‚Äôt turn stuff around this fast.
JC: Right, exactly. And a lot of times, we‚Äôll do Q&A after a show because we‚Äôre like, ‚ÄúThe podcast isn‚Äôt enough. We owe people more than that.‚Äù So we‚Äôll do a Q&A, right?
CB: That‚Äôs right.
JC: [Laughs] And the last question of the night was this cute little girl, just adorable, and her name was Mika, wasn‚Äôt it?
JC: Okay. And Mika had a special request, Chuck, and what was it?
CB: Well, it kind of went down like this: Mika‚Äôs dad walks her up to the microphone, everyone turns their attention to this adorable 6-year-old and in front of, what, was it 1200 people?
CB: She said, ‚ÄúCan you do a podcast on Giwaffes?‚Äù And 1200 hearts melted and immediately afterward, you and I were like, ‚ÄúWell, we‚Äôre doing this as soon as we get back.‚Äù
JC: Yeah, that‚Äôs right and this is where we‚Äôre at, we did it.
CB: Yeah, and you know what? Mika, you are not alone because giraffes are amazing, as you will see in greater detail, and you are not alone among your peers, because I got to tell you, as the father of a 2-year-old daughter, and Jerry, as the mom of a 2-year-old, they‚Äôre all obsessed with giraffes.
JC: Yeah, it‚Äôs true. Umi and I started our niece, Mila, actually off on giraffes pretty early. They‚Äôre some of the most adorable stuffed animals or toys around too. So I mean it‚Äôs understandable how it would stick in a kid‚Äôs craw like that.
CB: Yeah, I mean they look nothing like things that they‚Äôve seen yet enough like things they‚Äôve seen, I think, at that age to where they think, ‚ÄúWell, I‚Äôve seen a horse.‚Äù or ‚ÄúA Howes,‚Äù or ‚ÄúI‚Äôve seen a zebra.‚Äù ‚ÄúI‚Äôve seen a camel,‚Äù even, and those things look a little weird. But then a giraffe comes along and small minds are blown.
JC: They are blown, so much that I suspect that there are giraffes in the little angel holding bay where babies stay before they come down here to earth.
CB: [Laughs] And yes, when I say small minds, it‚Äôs not to say children are small minded. Maybe literally small-minded, but not in the figurative, adults sense.
JC: Physiologically speaking.
CB: [Laughs] There you go.
JC: So everybody knows what giraffes are. You can point to a picture of a giraffe and say, ‚ÄúWhat is this?‚Äù and a person will say, ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a giraffe.‚Äù That‚Äôs pretty common thing to do. Maybe, arguably, the best Charlie Harper illustration of all time is the mother and baby giraffe snuggling.
CB: I don‚Äôt know what that is.
JC: Look it up. I‚Äôll send it to you, you‚Äôre gonna love it. It‚Äôs just adorable. So everyone‚Äôs quite familiar with giraffes, but giraffes are one of those animals that, we found from our research, are just taken for granted. Everyone‚Äôs like, ‚ÄúLook at those things, they are amazing. But let‚Äôs just leave it at that,‚Äù apparently. It was how science approached giraffes for millennia, basically.
CB: Yeah, in fact, these evolutionary wonders, and boy aren‚Äôt they in every sense of the word? For many millennia, human dumb-dumbs referred to these animals as camel-leopards.
JC: [Laughs] Right, with a tiny little hyphen in between the two to really show that clearly a camel and a leopard had gotten it on at some point and created the giraffe.
CB: Yeah, which I mean makes a little bit a sense. They are sort of camel-like with their necks and their kind of long legs and hooves; but then also, you look at a giraffe‚Äôs coat and that amazing leopard-like pattern, so it sort of makes sense that human dumb-dumbs would say stuff like that.
JC: Right, because they didn‚Äôt understand evolution. And even Mr. Evolution himself, Charles Darwin, was like, ‚ÄúI‚Äôm not even getting into the giraffe for a while,‚Äù right?
CB: [Laughs] The giraffe debate?
JC: Yeah, so he started wading in to where the giraffe got its neck. Because by the time Darwin came along, they had said, ‚ÄúOkay, they‚Äôre not camel-leopards, we know that much. All right, everybody stop making fun of us.‚Äù
CB: Right. But also, ‚ÄúLet‚Äôs give it a scientific name, Giraffa Camelopardalis.‚Äù [Laughs]
JC: Yeah, which is a nod to the dumb-dumbs of yore.
CB: That‚Äôs right.
JC: Right. So by the time Darwin got in on this, he had written On the Origin of the Species, but it was the sixth edition before the giraffe makes an appearance in it.
CB: Yeah, I‚Äôm sure Mika has already read that.
JC: Sure, that‚Äôs why she was asking. She was hoping we could expound on that.
CB: [Laughs] That‚Äôs right.
JC: So Darwin suggested that, potentially, the giraffe‚Äôs neck evolved because, in times of drought or famine where other animals were starving and dropping like flies, the giraffe‚Äôs neck gave it an advantage to reach leaves on trees that other animals couldn‚Äôt, so it was quite literally rising above the competition, natural selection-wise, right?
CB: Yeah, and that‚Äôs got to be it, right?
JC: Well, one of the issues that‚Äôs raised against it is that giraffes still feed at the same level as other animals a pretty significant amount of the time.
CB: Well, they‚Äôre just greedy. [Laughs]
JC: I guess so. They‚Äôre like, ‚ÄúSome for me and I‚Äôll have some of yours too.‚Äù
CB: Yeah, I don‚Äôt know, I can‚Äôt think of any other reason. It makes complete sense.
JC: Well, there‚Äôs another guy, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck who is pretty credible as far as old-timey scientists go, and Lamarck said, ‚ÄúI think they‚Äôre an antelope that just stretched its neck further and further and further,‚Äù and he lost all credibility.
CB: Yeah, I think so.
JC: But they‚Äôre still not entirely certain what precisely it is that gave the giraffe its neck because you don‚Äôt see that elsewhere in nature. It‚Äôs not an adaptation that is pretty common like eyes or hearing or flight. It‚Äôs its own thing in a lot of ways, but there are some other long neck animals, like swans or something like that, but giraffes are mammals and, aside from that really long neck and a couple of other things that they‚Äôve had to change or adapt to because of their long neck and other features, they‚Äôre nothing like other long-necked animals.
CB: Yeah, that‚Äôs right. In the long neck club, they stand alone.
CB: All right, so let‚Äôs start with classification and taxonomy and that kind of thing because that sort of lays the groundwork for what we‚Äôre talking about here. Technically speaking, giraffes are what you would call an Even-Toed Ungulate, which is kind of a fancy way of saying they have just two weight-bearing hooves on each foot, like a camel, isn‚Äôt that right?
JC: Yeah, I believe so.
JC: Not a leopard, though.
CB: No, no. A leopard with hooves would not be much of a leopard, let‚Äôs be honest. And they are in an order called Artiodactyla, and that does include the antelope, to be fair, but also includes things like sheep and moose and hippos.
CB: Cows, pigs, a little weirdly, but maybe not because they have the little hooves. What else?
JC: There‚Äôs the Giraffa Genus and the Okapia Genus and they split, they think now, about 11 million years ago. And still, today, you can walk around in Africa and find the okapi, but the okapi looks way more like it‚Äôs related to a horse or a zebra than it does to a giraffe, right?
CB: Yeah, did you see those things?
JC: Yeah, I‚Äôve seen them before. They‚Äôre pretty neat. They‚Äôre like chocolate colored with zebra-striped legs.
CB: Yeah, it literally looks like it‚Äôs an animal that said, ‚ÄúI don‚Äôt know what I want to be. I like you guys; I like you guys, so I really would just like to sort of be both of you.‚Äù
JC: Right, it‚Äôs a social butterfly.
CB: Yeah, it‚Äôs a very pretty animal.
JC: And then over in the Giraffa Genus, there‚Äôs basically one species as far as anyone‚Äôs concerned. So any giraffe you ever see, even if it looks different from all the other giraffes you see, it was the species Giraffa Camelopardalis, like you said, right?
JC: But there is a 2016 study that was carried out by the Giraffe Conservation Foundation and it was published in the Journal of Current Biology, and they said, ‚ÄúYou know all these little subspecies that we‚Äôve been saying are actually the same species of giraffes or just variations? They‚Äôre actually different species; there‚Äôs four giraffe species.‚Äù
CB: Yeah, that study was just last year and now they‚Äôre saying that that‚Äôs not the case.
JC: Is that right?
CB: Well, isn‚Äôt that what it says?
JC: Well, I think it‚Äôs more like the wheels of biological science, as an academic field, moves slowly. So their findings are supposedly legitimate.
CB: But they‚Äôre just not saying‚Ä¶ They didn‚Äôt put the stamp of authenticity on it.
JC: Not yet.
JC: They probably will in the future, but they‚Äôre like, ‚ÄúJust give us some time. We just made some tea.‚Äù
CB: [Laughs] As scientist are wont to do. You want to take a break?
CB: All right, we‚Äôll take a break and crane our necks up and get some food to sustain ourselves and then talk a little bit about these awesome, awesome necks right after this.
JC: Okay, Chuck, so there was not a lot of study in the field of giraffes; everybody was just like, ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs neat. Giraffes are cool; let‚Äôs just leave it at that.‚Äù Especially in the field specifically, out in their natural habitat, they weren‚Äôt studied. Killed by poachers, but not necessarily studied, right? So most of the understanding we had of giraffes was of captive giraffes that were being held hostage in zoos, right? But, from those, we got a pretty decent amount of, at least, anatomical understanding of them.
CB: Yeah, and I mean we just have to add this to the list of the jellyfish and the octopus, bats, what else are we forgetting?
JC: Man, there is another one that we did. We did one recently. I guess frogs?
CB: Yeah, for sure.
JC: All animals.
CB: Yeah, any animal we cover we find fascinating. You noticed we haven‚Äôt done one on the common house cat?
CB: [Laughs] We probably should, though, because I‚Äôm a cat lover.
JC: I feel like that would be like doing an episode on gamers. Just inviting trouble, you know what I mean?
CB: Well, yeah I mean I love cats, of course I do, but I just don‚Äôt know that it‚Äôs in the same category as an octopus when it comes to amazement and astonishment, you know?
CB: That‚Äôs true. Although we did speak about them for a while in the‚Ä¶ What was it? Domestic animals episode?
CB: Did we?
JC: Yeah, I think so.
JC: And, of course, toxoplasmosis reared its ugly head.
JC: Oh, yeah.
CB: All right, Mika‚Äôs like, ‚ÄúGet back to it, guys. I don‚Äôt really care about that stuff.‚Äù [Laughs]
JC: Like, ‚ÄúI hate cats.‚Äù
CB: So they are the tallest living animal in the world and it says in here, and this has kind of reminded me of something, that a giraffe can look in a second story window, and I just saw it recently, I had no idea this existed, but Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, this is a hotel and it is a‚Ä¶ What do you call it? I mean they work with conservation, but‚Ä¶
JC: An eco-lodge?
CB: Well, I guess it‚Äôs that too, but I can‚Äôt think of the right name. But what it is, it‚Äôs a hotel and they work to help giraffes that are in trouble and help to re-introduce troubled giraffes into the wild.
JC: It‚Äôs like a home for a juvenile delinquent giraffes.
CB: Yeah, like a rehabilitation center. And I just saw this for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and there are pictures of people dining and eating in a second story window and giraffes sticking their heads right through them and eating fruit off a plate and people just thinking, ‚ÄúI‚Äôm getting cheated out of my breakfast and it‚Äôs the best time I can remember that happening.‚Äù So it‚Äôs amazing and now I want to‚Ä¶ I think Emily and I are gonna try and go on a safari. We‚Äôre dying to go on a safari; I just need to find out a good one that‚Äôs ecologically sound. I don‚Äôt know anything about safaris, so I don‚Äôt know if they‚Äôre bad or they‚Äôre good or there are good ones and bad ones, but I‚Äôm gonna check it out and we‚Äôre definitely gonna go stay in that hotel.
JC: The first question I think you want to ask of a safari operator is, ‚ÄúDo you use cattle prods?‚Äù That‚Äôs a big one.
CB: Yeah. Do they do stuff like that?
JC: I‚Äôm sure some people do for sure.
JC: Yeah, and hey, if anyone knows of a really sustainable, well-done safari, let me know. We‚Äôre in the market.
JC: So what was it called, Giraffe Manor?
JC: Okay, so yeah, they are just super tall and the reason why they‚Äôre super tall, there‚Äôs two reasons. One is, obviously, their neck. Their neck alone is six feet long, right?
JC: And again, there are other long-necked animals out there in nature like swans, but giraffes are mammals and they have the same number of cervical vertebrae that other mammals do; they‚Äôre just really big cervical vertebrae, right? So each vertebra of a giraffe‚Äôs neck is about 11 inches in length.
CB: That‚Äôs crazy.
JC: And there‚Äôs seven of them, and you put them all together and you got about a 6-foot long neck, but they also have really long legs, too, that are also about 6 feet long.
CB: Yeah, so 6 foot long legs, 6-foot long neck, and you have giraffes, female, because they still have other body parts, females can grow up to 14 feet, weight about 1500 pounds and males can grow up to 18 feet tall and weigh about 3000 pounds.
JC: Yeah. For males, it‚Äôs 5.5 meters tall and 1360 kilograms, so they‚Äôre big.
CB: That‚Äôs amazing.
JC: They‚Äôre big, big animals, but they‚Äôre also known as gentle giants too. They‚Äôre not very violent animals as we‚Äôll see.
CB: True, although if you‚Äôre into the sweet giraffe, do not look up videos of male giraffes fighting.
JC: I know, it‚Äôs disturbing to watch.
CB: It is very disturbing and you just want to think like, ‚ÄúOh man, you guys should just always like each other.‚Äù
JC: Yeah, like, ‚ÄúWhy do you friends fight?‚Äù
CB: [Laughs] Pretty much. So part of being tall like this, it presents some amazing evolutionary traits and some challenges that, thankfully, the giraffe has overcome. Let‚Äôs talk about their nerve cells. If you‚Äôve got a neck that long, everything is just stretched out. So for instance, their recurrent laryngeal nerve, which activates their larynx, helps them swallowing, because they‚Äôre gonna need a little help swallowing down that long neck, that thing is 15 feet long in itself because it starts in the brain, it goes down the neck, and then loops back up to the throat.
JC: Right, and we have one of those, too, and it‚Äôs actually pointed to this proof that it‚Äôs evolution, not creation, that accounts for us because it‚Äôs just such a poor workaround. But it‚Äôs 15 feet long in giraffes, right?
JC: So since it‚Äôs a nerve fiber, nerve fibers are made of bundled nerve cells, so that means that, if you separated these things, it‚Äôd make up 15 foot long cells.
CB: Yeah, that‚Äôs nuts.
JC: It really is.
CB: Is that your fact of the show?
JC: There‚Äôs about 50 of those in here, I think.
CB: [Laughs] I think you‚Äôre right. So if you‚Äôve ever been to a wildlife refuge, that‚Äôs the word I was thinking of, or a zoo, let‚Äôs say, and you‚Äôve seen a giraffe up close and personal, the one thing that you will notice, and some zoos will even have times of day where you can feed the giraffes, which is pretty amazing, but the first thing you‚Äôll probably notice aside from their neck when they get up face to face, aside from their friendly eyes, is the size of their tongue when they go licking stuff. And they have a very active tongue, that thing‚Äôs always moving around it seems like, but these tongues are almost 2 feet long, they can be 21 inches in length.
JC: Yes, and not only are they long, they‚Äôre also prehensile. They have the ability to grasp things as we‚Äôll see later, right?
CB: That‚Äôs right.
JC: So they have enormous tongues, they have feet that are about a foot across, about a third of a meter across, right? And their hearts, Chuck.
CB: I think this might be the fact of the show for me.
JC: Well then, take it.
CB: Well, their hearts, if you talk about a giraffe as a big-hearted animal, you can say that in every sense of the word because the heart of a giraffe is 2 feet long and weighs about 25 pounds, which Mika, for you; that‚Äôs 11 kilograms.
JC: [Laughs] That‚Äôs right. So they have this huge heart and you‚Äôre like, ‚ÄúWell, of course they have a huge heart you dummy, it‚Äôs a huge animal.‚Äù That‚Äôs true, but prepare for this. If you did, based on body mass, proportionately, a giraffe‚Äôs organs, like its heart or its lungs that can take in enormous amount of air at one time.
CB: 12 gallons.
JC: Right. They‚Äôre average. They‚Äôre just about average in size, right? So the giraffe is actually faced with a couple of issues here, right? If its hearts is, proportionately speaking, normal sized, but its neck is way longer than other mammals, it has an issue. And its legs are way longer than other animals; it has a secondary issue, right? So you would think, ‚ÄúWell, it needs a huge heart,‚Äù and again, though, it‚Äôs not proportionately up to the task, so there‚Äôs been other adaptations that the giraffe underwent over time to allow for it to not, say, faint when it suddenly lifts head up after drinking water or for blood not to collect and pool in its legs.
CB: Yeah, it‚Äôs pretty amazing. So the way this works is the heart of a giraffe is really, really thick. So it has a very thick wall, and so that means it can pump blood at a super high pressure, about five times that of the human heart. So that sort of solves that problem. It gets blood going where it needs to go as effectively as possible. And then they have a really tough coat and a tough hide and the way this article puts it is it sort of acts like a compression sock but around the whole body, so that, basically, just helps the blood counteract the gravity of pumping all the way up that long neck to the brain.
JC: Right, exactly. It keeps it also from collecting or pooling in places where it shouldn‚Äôt; just keeps everything running smoothly.
CB: Yeah, like those big feet.
JC: Yeah. So it‚Äôs pretty interesting stuff, right?
JC: And you were talking about the coat as well and one thing I saw, in research, is that the giraffe‚Äôs coat is unique to the individual, like our fingerprints or iris print is, which I hadn‚Äôt really thought about, which makes total sense, you know? Giraffes are all unique, individual little flowers.
CB: Snowflakes, if you will. [Laughs]
CB: Just good, giant, liberal mammals. Mika, you can ask your dad about that joke. So when you look at a giraffe, you might think, ‚ÄúWell, yeah. Giraffes, they all just sort of have this‚Ä¶ Maybe it‚Äôs unique, but the patterns are all basically the same.‚Äù Not exactly true. Depending on where the giraffe lives and what they eat, they‚Äôre gonna have a different sort of pattern going on and then each one is unique unto itself. So in Kenya, I‚Äôm gonna just call it a Maasai Giraffe, they have the pattern that look like the oak leaves; very, very pretty pattern.
JC: Right, and then there‚Äôs Uganda giraffes, they have big, large, brown splotches with lighter brown lines separating the splotches, like a giraffe. That‚Äôs the one you think of, or I think of when I think giraffes.
CB: I think of all of them as giraffes. [Laughs]
CB: Then there‚Äôs the Reticulated Giraffe, and this is only in Northern Kenya, evidently. These have the darker coat and it looks like really narrow white lines all over the place, but with all these, it‚Äôs kind of what are you looking at? Are you looking at the spots or the lines in between?
JC: Sure, yeah. It‚Äôs like an optical illusion. And the whole reason that giraffe‚Äôs hide or coat looks like that is because it‚Äôs camouflage. They‚Äôre so big, there‚Äôs really no way for them to hide anywhere, so they hide in plain sight by blending in with the trees that they eat.
CB: That‚Äôs right.
JC: There is also, Chuck, I don‚Äôt know if you saw this or not, but in Kenya, again, at the Ishaqbini Hirola Conservancy, they found two all-white giraffes. Head to toe, white.
JC: I think I‚Äôve seen those.
CB: Yeah, I think they kind of became an internet hit recently. And they say that they‚Äôre not albino giraffes, there‚Äôs like a lesser condition, called leucism, which really just kind of affects the skin and hair and coat, but not, say, the eyes or anything like that. But it‚Äôs really cute. It‚Äôs a mom and her baby and they‚Äôre being watched, probably, more than other giraffes, so the mom‚Äôs kind of like, ‚ÄúYou stay here behind the bushes, okay? I‚Äôm gonna handle the photographs.‚Äù
JC: But it‚Äôs just cute to watch them. I love watching giraffes at all times.
CB: At all times?
JC: I‚Äôm watching some right now.
CB: Are they outside of our studio? Oh my gosh, how wonderful would that be?
JC: You can‚Äôt see them; they‚Äôre looking over your shoulder right now.
CB: I know, I have my back to the door. So giraffes live in what are called savannas throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and the weather there is semi-arid. They like woodlands that are sort of open, that have smattering trees and bushes, and that‚Äôs really kind of the best habitat for giraffes.
JC: Right. And lastly, Chuck, their eyes, right? You said that their eyes are adorable and that‚Äôs largely because of their wonderful eyelashes, but they also have really large eyes and maybe among the better vision of any land animals. Their peripheral vision is so good they can almost see behind them.
CB: Yeah, it‚Äôs amazing.
JC: Yeah, and they can see in color, they can see a long, long way in front of them and, like you said, those wide angle lens eyeballs, and they‚Äôre huge, is really handy because giraffes, basically lions see giraffes and they think, ‚ÄúAll right, I know no one likes to see this kind of thing on television or on nature shows, but we have to eat too,‚Äù and they make for good eating if you‚Äôre a lion or, let‚Äôs say, a crocodile.
JC: Right, and aside from humans, that‚Äôs basically it. Hyenas prey on giraffe calves, but they don‚Äôt have that many predators.
CB: Yeah, well, which is great because we need more giraffes.
JC: Yeah, and they also don‚Äôt have a lot of recourse against predators. They can kick, as we‚Äôll see, but there‚Äôs not a lot they can do besides run away. But even when they run, despite their lungs being so big, they don‚Äôt oxygenate their bodies well enough that they can run for very long distances, so they can run fast in short bursts, but being camouflaged and being so huge and high off the ground that their predators can‚Äôt actually reach them easily, that‚Äôs really how they survive.
CB: Should we take another break?
JC: Yeah, let‚Äôs take one.
CB: All right, we‚Äôll be right back.
CB: All right, so you were talking about giraffes running fast; they can run about 35 miles an hour. For our Canadian friends, and certainly for Mika, that‚Äôs 56 kilometers, and we don‚Äôt often do those conversions anymore.
JC: Well, we don‚Äôt usually have an episode requested by a cute little Canadian.
CB: [Laughs] That‚Äôs correct. Although, you could make the argument that all Canadians are cute, right?
JC: Sure, nice at very least.
CB: So have you ever seen a giraffe run in person?
JC: I don‚Äôt know that I have. You know that thing, when you start to get older, Chuck, where your brain has been around long enough that it can just make up memories and you don‚Äôt know if you‚Äôve actually experienced it or if your brain‚Äôs like, ‚ÄúThis is what that person just asked would look like, so go ahead and say yes‚Äù? That‚Äôs what I just did. I‚Äôm not sure if I have or not but, at the very least, I‚Äôve seen it on TV and can imagine it.
CB: All right, so I know we did an episode on zoos and whether or not zoos are good or bad and I sort of still haven‚Äôt completely made up my mind on zoos.
JC: I have.
CB: I know you have, you‚Äôre on record. But I went to the San Diego Zoo when we did a tour show there a couple years ago, and they have a giraffe habitat, a very nice one, and they had some giraffes walking around doing cute stuff, and then one of them, out of nowhere, took off and started running, and it was the most graceful thing I‚Äôve probably ever seen in nature that didn‚Äôt involve wings and flying.
JC: Oh, wow.
CB: It was unbelievable. You can look it up on YouTube, ‚ÄúGiraffes running.‚Äù
JC: So like banjo music wouldn‚Äôt have been appropriate?
CB: No, no, no, no. They just sort of glide, man. And they‚Äôre so big and their necks are going forward and backward, kind of like they‚Äôre cranking it out with their neck, and then their legs, it almost seems like they‚Äôre not touching the ground. It‚Äôs a gallop, but it‚Äôs hard to explain. When you see a horse gallop, you feel like they‚Äôre grabbing that ground and it‚Äôs very just strong looking, but a giraffe just sort of glides. For such a big animal, and that might have something to do with the optics of it, but it‚Äôs just something to see.
JC: Well, also the way that they move their legs is kind of peculiar as well. I think when they‚Äôre running, it‚Äôs front legs and then back legs and front legs and then back legs, if I‚Äôm not mistaken, but then, when they‚Äôre moving along at a slower speed, they‚Äôre moving like right side legs, left side legs, right side legs, left side legs. So it‚Äôs not like a one at a time; it‚Äôs a bizarre way to walk around. Yet another amazing thing about giraffes.
CB: All right, so one of our favorite things are groups of animals, names of groups of animals, like a murder of crows and where they get these crazy names. And giraffes, I never knew it until today, a group of giraffes is called a tower.
JC: I didn‚Äôt know that either.
CB: Really neat.
JC: So giraffes, it‚Äôs long been known they‚Äôre social animals, they live in packs.
CB: No, they live in towers. [Laughs]
JC: They live in towers, I‚Äôm sorry. Since th