How did the giraffe get such a long neck?
One famous storyteller said that "the giraffe used to
look just like other grazing animals in Africa." But then he spotted
the fresh leaves on some high branches. Those look better, he
thought to himself. So he reached and reached -- and stretched and
His neck grew longer, but so did his pride. In fact,
said the storyteller, he became too proud to bend his neck and eat
the food closer to the ground. So only those giraffes who were tall
enough to reach the highest branches survived. All the others died.
Those long-necked giraffes who reached the highest
branches had baby giraffes who would grow tall like their them. And,
as time passed, the surviving giraffes evolved: their necks grew longer and
tried to give a more scientific explanation. Since it's
written in an old-fashioned style, it may be hard to
"...the individuals which were the highest browsers
and were able, during [droughts], to reach even an
inch or two above the others, will often have been
preserved.... By this process long-continued...
combined no doubt in a most important manner with
the inherited effects of increased use of parts, it
seems to me almost certain that any ordinary hoofed
quadruped might be converted into a giraffe."
Is that really true?
Think about it. If short-necked giraffes die because
they couldn't reach the high branches, what would have happened to
giraffes? Their necks would be much shorter. If they starved to death, there would
be no adult giraffes! It doesn't make
sense does it?
But there are other
reasons for not believing that "any ordinary hoofed
quadruped might be converted into a giraffe," as Darwin
said. Let's look at them one by one.
1. Has anyone found
fossils of short-necked giraffe herds that prove
an earlier stage of evolution?
2. Did short-necked giraffes die because they
couldn't reach food?
Answer: No. Like
all the other animals, they could bend down and eat the
food closer to the ground. The
belief that giraffes always seek the high branches is
"According to the competition hypothesis, giraffes
use their long necks to advantage during dry
seasons, when food is scarce; but, in fact, the
opposite is observed in the field. ...
"...'females spend over 50% of
their time feeding with their necks horizontal [a
behavior so common it is used to determine the sex
of animals at a distance]' and 'both sexes feed
faster and most often with their necks bent.' These
observations, they conclude, suggest 'that long
necks did not evolve specifically for feeding at
3. What if their necks were longer than their legs?
How do they reach the leaves near the ground?
Answer: They just spread their front legs apart. That's
what they have always done to drink water.
4. What happens to a
giraffe's head when it bends down to drink? Since his
head is below his body, does it fill up with blood and
start throbbing? Does it feel strange -- as your head
would if you were upside-down for a while?
Answer: The blood
vessels in a giraffe's neck have special valves that control the flow of blood.
From the beginning, the giraffe
was created with all the body
parts it needed to survive. If it only had a long neck
without the special valves or its very large heart,
it would have died:
"The giraffe’s heart is
probably the most powerful among animals, because
about double normal pressure is required to pump
blood up the giraffe’s long neck to the brain. With
such high blood pressure, only special design
features prevent it from ‘blowing its mind’ when it
bends down to take a drink.
"Equally marvelous is the fact the blood does not pool
in the legs, and a giraffe does not bleed profusely
if cut on the leg. The secret lies in an extremely
tough skin and an inner fascia that prevents blood
pooling. This skin combination has been studied
extensively by NASA scientists in their development
of gravity-suits for astronauts."
is not possible for evolutionists to make up a
plausible scenario for the origination of either the
giraffe's long neck or its complicated blood
pressure regulating system. This amazing feature
generates extremely high pressure to pump the blood
up to the 20-foot high brain and then quickly
reduces the pressure to prevent brain damage when
the animal bends down to take a drink. After over a
century of the most intensive exploration for
fossils, the world's museums cannot display a single
intermediate form that would connect the giraffe
with any other creature."
Luther D. Sunderland
Could all those special parts of the giraffe simply
evolve together by chance? Was it all an accident?
No! The notion that this all happened by chance
is a real 'tall story'!"
If you still believe that popular myth, please go to
Darwin's Black Box and read about the
amazing information code in DNA.
The only explanation that makes sense is in the Bible:
God made the beast of the earth according to its
kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything
that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And
God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:11, 25
Origin of life
What Darwin didn't know
1. Rudyard Kipling,
"How the Giraffe Got its Long Neck," Just So Stories.
Charles Darwin, Origin of the Species (1859), p. 202, at
TALLEST TALE" at
4. Lynn Hofland, B.S.E.E., "Giraffes … animals that
stand out in a crowd," at
5. Luther D.
Sunderland, Darwin's Enigma (1988), pp. 83-84. t., pp. 26-27.