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.
The long-necked giraffes who could reach the highest
branches had baby giraffes who would grow to be tall like them. And,
as time passed, those giraffes evolved: their necks grew longer and
explained this supposed "evolution" of the giraffe:
"...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? Do you believe that story?
Think about it. If short-necked giraffes die because
they couldn't reach the high branches, what would have happened to
the female giraffes who were shorter than the males? Someone wrote a
story about that as well. Do you think it is
"Once long ago, the giraffe kept reaching up into
the higher branches to obtain enough food to keep it
from perishing. But, because only those giraffes
with the longest necks were fittest, only the males
survived—because none of the females were as tall!
That is why there are no female giraffes in Africa
What about young
giraffes? Their necks would also be too short to reach
high branches. If they all starved to death, there would
be no adult giraffes! It doesn't make
sense does it?
But there are other reasons
for not believing this myth about evolution. 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?
Answer: No. Never.
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 naturally 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.
"In the Serengeti [an animal preserve in eastern
Africa]... giraffe spend almost all of the dry
season feeding from low Grewia bushes, while only in
the wet season do they turn to tall Acacia tortillis
trees, when new leaves are ...plentiful ...and no
competition is expected. This behavior is contrary
to the prediction that giraffe should use their
feeding height to advantage at times of food
"Moreover, they report, '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,
so that they couldn't reach the grasses 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 he 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 stood on your head for a while?
Answer: The blood
vessels in a giraffe's neck has many valves that can
open and close to control the flow of blood. The giraffe
was created -- from the beginning -- with all the body
parts it needed to survive. If it only had a long neck
without the special valves or the unusually large heart,
it would have died:
"When the giraffe lowers its head to drink, the
valves close to stop the blood rushing to the brain.
These same valves prevent all the blood rushing away
from the giraffe's head, when the giraffe stands up
again.... without these parts, all working
properly, a long necked giraffe would not even be
able to drink!"
"...it 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 have
happened by chance? Could the amazing body of the
giraffe simply be an accident?
No, as "The idea that this all happened by chance, through a process of evolution, sounds like a real 'tall story'!"
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
Darwin's Black Box
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.
TALLEST TALE" at
5. Luther D.
Sunderland, Darwin's Enigma (1988), pp. 83-84. t., pp. 26-27.