The giraffe holds two important world records. It is the tallest terrestrial animal that still lives with an adult measuring 4.3–5.7 meters high. It is also the largest ruminant. An adult male can weigh up to 1,192 kilograms. So, it shouldn’t be a big surprise knowing that the fights between giraffe males can be violent. “And really brutal to watch,” as Paul Mahagi said.
Paul Mahagi had the rare chance to watch two giraffe males fighting for the alpha status, in Meru County in Kenya, Africa. He took an amazing picture of the event where you can see one of the giant ruminants twisting its neck in an impossible angle. It looks like it’s broken by a ninja warrior. “You could hear the noises of the cracking when they hit their necks,” said Mahagi.
Giraffe male fighting for the Alpha status
It is also their natural way of fighting. It is called necking. They are using their necks as weapons. They fight over one thing: females and the mating role that comes with winning the necking. The sad story with the giraffes, as it tends to be with all the large animals is their vulnerability for extinction. 7 prehistoric species went extinct a long time ago. Other eight in the more recent eras. Most of these extinctions were caused by climate change.
Their looks have a lot to do with the fact that they had to change the environment in which they used to live. Looking for warmer places on the planet, the food sources changed also. They used to live in extensive forests and had to change them with open habitats. The tropical plants they fed with disappeared and dry savannah took their place. This made the giraffes evolve into the exaggerated long-neck appearance they have today.