You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April 2015.

There’s a great video on vimeo by nicolas deveaux

and the question turned to its plausibility. We wondered how flexible giraffe necks are, and it turns out pretty flexible, though I couldn’t find any solid info on max flexion.
So if we say that it could infact bend his head and neck into an appropriate position, would the neck be strong enough to flip his/her buddies

so firstly I tried to work out the force exerted on the head/neck
so assuming a 5.5m tall giraffe, at an endurance run of 31mph and a weight of 3500 lbs (whatever values came up first on google) I’m working on the idea we’re converting forward momentum into vertical so the math should work, basing it off  It comes out as is 55.4kn which is a fair bit. (5600kg or so)…

There was no data on the tensile strength of a giraffe’s neck, but helpfully there is on people.
human neck tensile strength is about 3100N (
a male giraffe neck is about 70cm circumference at the head and 152cm at the base (…/Mitchell_Growth_2013.pdf…)
and human male neck circumference is 35cm (

tensile strength scales with cross sectional area so it comes out at about 12kn. Which is unfortunatelysome way short of the 55.4kn it would need to flip another giraffe. Shame. It would hold up a smaller giraffe though (2698lbs)

i’m not really a mathematician so please correct me if i’m wrong!