A team of researchers has discovered the largest giraffe on earth. The animal is estimated to be 18 feet tall and weighs close to 2,000 pounds. They also estimate that it is between 7 and 8 years old. By comparison, the average height of a giraffe is 13 feet with an average weight of about 1,600 pounds at just 5 years old. This means that this new discovery towers over other members of its species by as much as five feet or more than 600 pounds!
Biggest Giraffe in the World
Forest, a 12-year-old giraffe from Australia Zoo in Queensland, is recognized as the world's tallest giraffe, standing at 5.7 m (18 ft 8 in).
Scientists believe that climate change may have caused this animal to grow taller and heavier than most animals living near it. With higher temperatures encouraging growth in some animals and drought limiting food resources in others, the giraffe was left with no choice but to adapt.
The giraffe was found in the Tarangire National Park located in Tanzania. The research team included scientists from the University of Utah, Duke University, and Wildlife Conservation Society. They published their findings online on October 21st in the scientific journal PeerJ.
This is an incredible discovery that shows just how much the environment can affect an animal's size. It also shows how larger animals are better suited to handle environmental changes, thanks to their ability to stave off hunger more easily than smaller creatures.