Unique anatomy sets giraffe apart in the animal kingdom

A circulatory system that beats gravity. Spots that dissipate heat. This giant is purpose-built for its size and surroundings.

This story appears in the October 2019 issue of National Geographic magazine.

At 14 to 19 feet tall, giraffes tower over the entire animal kingdom. But their iconic height, which evolved over seven million years, requires unique features to regulate blood flow, mitigate the effects of gravity on muscles and bones, and heat and cool their massive bodies.

Read more about a bold plan to save Africa's shrinking giraffe herds.

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