Appearance: Giraffes have seven vertebrae, the same number as humans, in their long necks. Each adult vertebrae is approximately 11 inches long. Giraffes are the tallest land mammal with males reaching heights of 18 feet tall and females 15 feet tall. Their bodies are covered in a net-like pattern. 

Habitat: Giraffes live in arid zones and drier regions of northern and southern Savanna, wherever trees grow. They can also be found in semiarid plains, savannas and woodland areas.

Family Life: Known as social animals, giraffes live in herds of 12 to 15 to better protect the young from predators. Giraffes are ultimate browsers, browsing among tall Acacia trees. They avoid drinking for long periods of time and often stand when sleeping, because it is difficult to get up from a kneeling position. 

Threats: Giraffes are hunted for their meat.


Class: Mammalia (Mammals)

Order: Artiodactyla

Family: Giraffidae

Genus: Giraffa

Status: Common

Lifespan:25 years in the wild; up to 28 years in managed care

Diet: Herbivore


rising above

Giraffes are top-notch browsers, only competing with elephants for food.

new heights

Special blood valves in giraffes' neck arteries help control the blood flow and heart pressure when they raise and lower their necks.

Plan Your Visit Today

The Phoenix Zoo is one of the largest non-profit zoos in the U.S., caring for over 3,000 animals, with nearly 400 species represented, including many threatened/endangered species.