Giraffes: Towering Testimonies to God’s Design

Giraffe

The giraffe is no comic freak of nature

by Karin Viet

Towering tall over the African savanna, the giraffe looks as if it belongs in the circus. It strolls on stilt-like legs, and its neck parades high in the sky. But the giraffe is no comic freak of nature. It displays divine design.

Since the giraffe gives birth standing up, the newborn calf falls more than five feet to the ground. Within 15 minutes after the calf is born, it stands up on those gangly legs. In short order, the nearly six-foot calf conquers the two distinct giraffe gaits.

The first gait is a slow pace as the giraffe alternately moves its left legs and then its right legs. When fleeing from predators like lions, the giraffe can gallop for a short time at speeds up to almost 40 miles per hour. A giraffe is most at risk to a lion attack when spreading its front legs apart and bending down to lap up water.

Being vulnerable to predators, half of giraffe calves do not survive their first year. The other half, however, may live 20 years in the wild. Adult giraffes usually thwart predators by their high vantage point, swift gallop, and powerful kick, which can kill a lion. The giraffe’s brown and cream pattern camouflages it from predators. Although giraffe patterns might look identical, each giraffe has unique markings…

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image credit: Guy Roberts