Nature’s most underrated badass

They need only 20 minutes of sleep per day—if that.

They eat up to 100 lbs of food in a single day.

Their hearts weigh 24 lbs and span 2 ft—and can pump a monstrous 16 gallons of blood per minute.

They can run up to 35 mph (Usain Bolt manages just a meager 27 mph).

Their blood pressure is double what’s normal for large mammals (you’ll learn why soon enough).

Their newborns begin life by falling 6 feet to the ground.

They rarely make a sound (but they can if they want to). Like monks, only nobler and awesomer.

They have most excellent eyesight. In fact, eyecharts are laughable to them… if only they laughed.

They fear only one predator:  Lions. I repeat: Fucking lions. However, a single, well-placed kick of theirs can render Mufasas dead in their tracks (or, to be more socially accurate if less eloquent, Sarabis, as lionesses do the hunting for the pride—and would thus be more likely the recipient of a thunderous death kick).

Their average height is 17 ft (for males, 14 ft for females), and males can weigh up to 4,300 lbs, with an avg of 2,600 lbs (females weigh up to 2,600 lbs [avg 1,800 lbs]). Not too shabby indeed.

Besides one another and being tolerably social with other animals, they have one true friend. And its name is “Oxpecker.” I want a friend named “Oxpecker.”

They are the tallest living animal on land.

Who are these badasses?

They are giraffes.


Don’t you dare fuck with the cameleopard.

Of course, giraffes’ blood pressure is so dizzyingly high due to their height and their serpentine necks (the latter of which weigh up to 550 lbs and can extend over 7 ft). How else could they get blood pumped all the way up said necks to their clever little badass brains?

Not to mention, giraffes’ve got this masterpiece of evolution called a rete mirabile (Latin for “wonderful net”), a state-of-the-art pressure regulation system that prevents excess blood from flooding the brain when they lower their heads to drink like this:

Conversely, there’s also a shit-ton of blood vessel pressure on the way down to their legs. A lesser animal would die from capillary walls bursting under such pressure—but not so with giraffes. A tight, über-thick sheath of skin over their legs keeps their extravascular pressure high and everything jake, very much like an astronaut’s or aviator’s g-suit.

Now, we can’t very well continue rhapsodizing on the badassery of giraffes without seeing a fight, right?

This donnybrook was caught by a group on a safari in Tanzania (please try to ignore their lame tourist banter and concentrate on the melee at hand). So you know, the force with which these giraffes swing their wrecking-ball necks are enough to blast a minivan off its wheels (for the attention-deficient, it really gets cooking at 1:13).

With such stalwart, massive vertebrae (12 inches apiece, versus a measly 1-1/2 inches per vertebra in humans), giraffe’s necks are in little danger of getting injured in these mighty brawls. After all, they got necks, and they know how to use ’em. The only body parts Giraffa camelopardalis have to worry about are the vital organs they attempt to rupture with their ossicones (those prominent horns atop their formidable cabezas). But worry not, novice giraffe-lover. Ultimately this skirmish ended without serious injury, as the smaller giraffe finally backed down and order resumed.

Check this out—yet another giraffe superpower:  Their tongues are up to 27 in long, and black. Can you say pet giraffe, ladies?

Oh, and for all you too-observant Jews roaming the savannas of central Africa, there shall be much rejoicing:  giraffe meat and milk are kosher (though never at the same time, of course).

In my semiprofessional badass estimation, there’s only one minor gaffe in the giraffe’s behavior—but, my freethinking friends, you’ll soon find out it’s really not a gaffe at all. As we witnessed above, male giraffes will often neck wrestle to establish dominance in their herds. Occasionally, that necking turns a little less than platonic. So they’re sexually deviant. Big deal. So are we, dammit. More than that, at least 1,500 other species in the animal kingdom engage in homosexual behavior. Perhaps then maybe it’s not so blatantly unnatural (to anyone but the Catholic and Baptist world, that is) after all?

One thing’s for sure, it don’t make giraffes any less omnipotent.


~ by zactopia on March 7, 2010.

3 Responses to “Nature’s most underrated badass”

  1. […] Plus, you gotta give it up for giraffes—nature’s most underrated badass. […]

  2. definitely some great info to take home

  3. I would like to speak to you regarding permission to use a certain picture please email me and

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