Saturday, January 15, 2011

Can a giraffe swim/float?

I saw this question on a science link on Scientific American the other day. "Can a giraffe swim? or float?"

The knee-jerk reaction is to say "of course it can" because can't all animals swim/float? But then I started thinking about it and how tall, muscular and dense they look at the zoo - my next thought was a) in a giraffe's environment when would it ever need to swim? B) if it walked into the water wouldn't it just go in while still walking on the ground and hold it's neck up, and C) if it did get in too deep of water wouldn't it's big neck cause it to be front heavy and make it tip forward like a front-engine car sinking face-first into the water?

For what it's worth, here's a study that attempts to determine. Apparently nobody's ever seen a swimming giraffe - but they haven't put a giraffe in deep water to check either.

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