I thought I knew what a giraffe was like. I had seen pictures. I had even seen video of one attacking a lion. But, nothing compared to the time I was watching a video (with beautiful music) and a giraffe suddenly popped up and was wading through a watering hole. The muscles were rippled up his chest and the neck of the animal was huge. I have never and still haven’t seen a more amazing image of a giraffe.
The giraffe has a fairly short (lengthwise) body. The distance from tail to beginning of neck is nothing compared to the average height of 16-18 feet. This height is usually contributed to the neck but there are other contributors.
An average giraffe’s legs are over eight feet tall and are carefully folded when sleeping. First the giraffe will bend the front legs and stoop down in a bowing position. He then situates his back legs underneath.
Some giraffes have been recorded as sleeping while standing but it is rare.
The giraffe can run very fast (37 mph) for short distances and keep a steady speed of 31 mph. But, his legs are not used just for running.
One day I was watching a show on giraffes and they showed a video where a mother was protecting her baby calf from a lioness. As soon as the lion would attack the mother would unleash a volley of foot stamps on or by the lioness. After a while the lioness left. Unfortunately, the protective mother had killed her own baby while trying to protect it. Those powerful legs could kill many a friend and foe.
The most obvious feature of the giraffe is his neck. Stretching six to seven feet, the neck enables the giraffe to stretch well beyond the limits of other bush/tree grazers. Because of this his main diet consists of acacia leaves.
But, because the neck is long and puts the head and brain so high, the giraffe must need a gigantic heart to pump the blood up into the neck. And, of course, the giraffe has this kind of neck. At two feet wide, this heart weighs 25 pounds and has to pump blood nearly vertical for more than six feet! Quite a job.
However, when the blood that is being shot up that neck is suddenly working with gravity (other words, when the giraffe takes a drink and the neck is pointing down) it causes a problem for the giraffe. If the blood rushes to the head his brain will burst and he will die. So, how does the giraffe overcome this problem?
Well, when the giraffe was first created he was made with a special way of preventing this from happening. The giraffe has actually has little valves in his artery that close when the blood comes. The valves can’t always hold it so the brain has a sort of sponge underneath his brain that will soak up extra blood. This protects the brain from getting to much blood and thus, blowing his brains out.
But, what happens when the giraffe puts his head back up? If he does it fast there will be too little oxygen in his brain and he will pass out. Does he have to go extremely slow so the blood can return? No, he has a response built-in for that too. As the head goes up the valves open up and the sponge squeezes the oxygenated blood into the brain. The valves on the downward path of the blog close so the blood doesn’t leave to fast and the flow is then restored to normal. Amazing!
In the end the giraffe confuses the evolutionists with its origin, punches them in the stomach with the amazing design in the neck and pumps a good bit of reality into them with its amazing heart.
I am so glad God made such a creature as the giraffe. Of course, He made even more amazing designs in the large sauropods we have found bones of but He decided to keep one long-necked creature alive for all too see and remember.