Snapshot Serengeti Talk

giraffe in compromising position

  • CaitStevens by CaitStevens

    I assume this giraffe is just getting up or something, but it seems like a comically timed photo.


  • maricksu by maricksu moderator in response to CaitStevens's comment.

    Great image! Yes, the giraffe is very likely about to get up here with the help of its neck movements. I have saved e.g. ASG001rq3y , ASG001rq33 , captured earlier, where it is resting.

    For Giraffe, lying down is easier than getting up.

    Lying down: They fold their front legs under them first, then bend their hind legs to settle down on their sternum with a hind leg sticking out either to the left or the right of their torso. (Giraffes do not lie squarely on their hindquarters as Camels do.)

    Getting up from resting position takes longer because of their large mass and long legs. It is vital to use neck movements to accomplish this task.

    Getting up: First it throws its neck back for impetus so that it can hoist its forequarters onto its โ€forekneesโ€. Next it moves its neck forward again for balance, pauses, then moves its neck backward slightly before throwning it forward so this new impetus allows it to shift its hindquarters onto its back feet. It holds this pose for nearly a second, then draws its neck back again along with the weight of its body so that it can change from a kneeling position of its front feet to standing on them. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ


  • davidbygott by davidbygott moderator in response to maricksu's comment.

    Beautiful description! It does take several seconds to get up, which is why giraffes usually only sit down in open areas, where they can clearly see predators before they get close.


  • maricksu by maricksu moderator in response to davidbygott's comment.

    I feel I need to add here that I have studied those I wrote, from a book written by Anne Innis Dagg : Giraffe Biology, Behaviour and Conservation
    and thus the honour and thanks of that beautiful description belong to her ๐Ÿ˜ƒ