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Get to Know the Tallest Giraffes Ever Recorded

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Even the smallest giraffe towers over us with their long and graceful necks – let’s meet the tallest giraffes ever recorded!

the tallest giraffe ever recorded

Giraffes are known for their incredible height, distinctive spotted coat, and – above all – their lengthy and graceful neck. 

These iconic animals are native to the African continent, where they can roam the grasslands and savannas in small herds. Although their long eyelashes and big eyes make them adorable, it is their towering height that makes them truly unique: giraffes are the tallest animals ever recorded, with an average height of 18 feet (5.5 meters).

Their height has long been a source of fascination for scientists, researchers, and animal lovers alike. But even among giraffes, some individuals stand out for their exceptional height. 

In this post, you’re going to meet the tallest giraffe ever recorded, a magnificent specimen that captured the world’s attention and continues to inspire awe – as well as his giraffe runner-up.

Want to learn more about this incredible animal and explore some fascinating facts and theories surrounding giraffe height? Read on!

The Two Tallest Giraffes Ever Recorded

#1 George

tallest giraffe ever recorded

Meet the tallest giraffe ever recorded: George, a magnificent animal that stood head and shoulders above the rest. According to records, he lived at the Chester Zoo in England in the 1950s. George was a towering presence, measuring a whopping 19 feet (5.8 meters) tall at his full height.

George was known for more than just his impressive height, however. He was a gentle and friendly giraffe with a “cheeky personality” and a fondness for interacting with zoo visitors. His keepers described him as a favorite among visitors, who were often amazed by his size and delighted by his playful antics.

Despite his immense size, George was a healthy and active giraffe, thriving in the zoo environment. He was well-cared for by his keepers, who provided him with a nutritious diet, plenty of space to roam, and many enrichment activities to keep him mentally stimulated. George lived a long and happy life, becoming a beloved figure at the Chester Zoo and was renowned globally.

Today, George’s legacy lives on, inspiring awe and wonder in those who hear about his incredible size and friendly personality. He remains one of the most famous giraffes, proving the beauty and majesty of these amazing animals.

#2 Forest

tallest giraffe ever recorded
©Guinness World Records

While George remains the tallest giraffe ever recorded and continues to hold the record for the tallest giraffe in history, other giraffes have come close to his impressive height throughout the years. One such giraffe was a male named Forest, who lived at the Australia Zoo in Queensland, Australia.

In July 2020, Forest made headlines when Guinness World Records officially recognized him as the Second Tallest Giraffe Ever Recorded. At the time of his measurement, Forest stood at a staggering height of 18 feet 8 inches (5.7 meters), just a few inches shy of George’s record.

Like George, Forest was known for his friendly personality and gentle demeanor. He was a beloved figure at the Australia Zoo, living alongside his fellow giraffes and other animal companions. His keepers described him as a social and curious animal, always eager to interact with visitors and explore his surroundings.

Sadly, Forest passed away in 2020 due to a degenerative condition, but his legacy as one of the tallest and most impressive giraffes in history remains. His record-breaking height inspires awe and wonder, reminding us of the incredible diversity and beauty of the animal kingdom.

Why Are Giraffes So Tall?


Giraffes are the tallest animals on land, reaching up to 18 feet some cases, as shown both by George and Forest. On average, though, giraffes typically reach a height of around 14 to 18 feet (4.3 to 5.5 meters.) Male giraffes tend to be taller than females, the latter usually reaching a height of around 14 feet (4.3 meters) at most. 

But why are they so tall? The answer lies in their unique physiology and evolutionary history.

One reason for their height is related to their diet. Giraffes primarily feed on leaves from trees and shrubs, and their height allows them to access the uppermost leaves that other animals cannot reach. Their long necks provide them with a vertical reach of up to 20 feet (6 meters), enabling them to feed on a wider variety of plant species and survive in areas with low foliage density.

Another factor is the giraffe’s skeletal structure. Their bones are elongated but not thicker than those of other mammals their size, making them relatively lightweight despite their height. Their long legs are well-suited for supporting their massive bodies and allowing them to move quickly and gracefully across the savannah despite their towering height.

Giraffes’ unique physical adaptations have also been shaped by evolution. Their ancestors likely lived in dense forests, where a long neck allowed them to reach higher foliage while staying hidden from predators. Over time, as their habitats changed and their predators evolved, giraffes adapted to their new environments by developing even longer necks and legs.

So while giraffes may seem like strange and otherworldly creatures, their impressive height and unique physical adaptations result from millions of years of evolution and adaptation to their environment. They serve as a fascinating specimen of evolution for survival in terms of habitat.

Interesting Giraffe Facts

the tallest giraffe ever recorded

In addition to being the tallest animals on land, giraffes have many other interesting and unique characteristics that make them a fascinating species.

  1. Giraffes have the same neck vertebrae as most other mammals, including humans. The difference is that each vertebra is much longer, giving them their iconic long necks.
  2. Despite their height, giraffes only have seven neck vertebrae, the same as most mammals. However, each vertebra can be over 10 inches (25 cm) long!
  3. Giraffes live in groups that, funnily enough, are referred to as ‘towers.’ These towers can consist of a few individuals to over 20.
  4. Giraffes have long tongues extending up to 18 inches (45 cm) to help them reach leaves high up in trees.
  5. They also have unique coat patterns as individual as human fingerprints, making each giraffe easily identifiable.
  6. Giraffes can run up to 35 miles (56 km) per hour, making them one of the fastest land animals despite their size.
  7. Despite their height and long legs, giraffes sleep standing up and only require about 30 minutes of sleep per day.

For more fun facts and scientific information, check out Britannica’s page on giraffes.

Key Points

The tallest giraffe ever recorded was 19 feet tall.
On average, giraffes grow between 14 – 18 feet tall.
The second tallest giraffe was 18 feet 8 inches tall.
Giraffe height is measured from the top of the horns.
Giraffes have evolved to grow tall to reach foliage in tall trees and gain a competitive advantage in obtaining food.

The Bottom Line

the tallest giraffe ever recorded

Giraffes are truly remarkable animals, known for their incredible height and unique physical features. George, the tallest giraffe ever recorded, stood at a whopping 19 feet (5.88 meters) tall and had a cheeky personality that endeared him to many. 

However, George was not the only impressive giraffe out there. The current title for the world’s second tallest giraffe belongs to a male named Forest, who stood at a remarkable 18 feet 8 inches (5.8 meters) tall.

Giraffes’ incredible height allows them to reach high up into trees for food and also helps them keep a lookout for potential predators. Despite their height, they are graceful and agile animals capable of running at impressive speeds.

As we’ve seen, giraffes also have many other interesting characteristics that make them a unique and fascinating species. From their social behavior to their distinctive coat patterns, there is always more to learn about these incredible creatures.

Thank you for reading this article on the tallest giraffe ever recorded! Continue your exploration of the animal kingdom’s incredible capabilities and adaptations by reading about animals that are impressive for the opposite reason; not because they’re tall but because they’re so small. Or, on a completely different note, have you ever wondered why goats sound the way they do?

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