Why Giraffes Have Such Long Necks

Why Giraffes Have Such Long Necks.

By Duncan Oduor

Soysambu Conservancy Research Centre

Giraffes are generally said to have evolved to enable them eat high leaves that their rivals could not reach (enable them to eat hard-to-reach food). The evidence supporting this theory is weak.Studies have shown that giraffes in most part of Africa rarely browse the tips of trees even when lower leaves are scarce.

Another theory does with sexual selection. Giraffes’ necks begin to grow and once they reach certain length, males begin to use them as weapons. The animals compete for female favors(Dominancy). The male ones thwacking(Necking) each other’s ribs and legs with their heads, which are reinforced with horn-like growth called ossiccones. Male Giraffes’ with longest necks deliver hardest blow. This theory does not explain why females also have long necks but not long as males.



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