The world's tallest animal, a giraffe can easily look into a second-storey window. Its height to the "horn" tips averages 5.3 m (17.5 ft.) in males and 4.3 m (14 ft.) in females.
This bird's-eye view, along with a highly developed sense of sight, is the giraffe's principal defence against predators because it can spot danger from a great distance. The camouflage provided by the buff-coloured hide covered with spots of darker brown is another aid to survival.
Giraffe "horns" are different from most animal horns. They are just bony bumps covered with skin and hair, and are called ossicones. Both genders have ossicones and most giraffes have 3 although some have 5.
The movement and position of a giraffe's neck are used to express emotion. When angry, a giraffe will lower its neck until it is almost horizontal. In submission, it stretches its neck and raises its nose in the air. The giraffe's neck has the same number of cervical vertebrae as a human: seven.
Giraffes used to live in most of the open country of continental Africa. They were wiped out of Egypt by 2600 BC and from western and southern Africa in the 20th century. The largest populations of wild giraffes now live in Tanzania. The species' long-term survival is dependent on human conservation strategies.