A Spine to Remember
A Little Extra Information.
If, like hundreds of thousands other people, you logged in
on Facebook much more than usual this weekend, it was probably for the Giraffe.
April, a 15 year old pregnant giraffe at a zoo in upstate New York, is due to
give birth any moment and people are fascinated. The zoo set up a camera in the
"birthing room" and news stations all over the world have logged in.
There is something about giraffes. They are large, often
awkward animals but there is nothing else quite like them in the world. Their
necks are long, but their legs are longer (that’s why they have to spread their
legs to drink). When they run they use front leg, back leg on one side at a
time, giving them that "loping gait".
Because their heads are so far from their heart, they need 3
times the amount of blood pressure a human does to get oxygenated blood to
their brains. The tissue in their legs act like compression stockings so the
blood can go back to the heart.
But my favorite thing about giraffes is they have only seven
cervical vertebrae; the same as you and I. Also the same amount as a mouse.
Mind you, a giraffe’s cervical vertebrae are each about 10 inches in height: a
mouse, a little smaller.
Just thought I would equip you with that knowledge, for a
trivia night or whatever. We in the spine business like to share all spine
Good Luck April. 150 pound babies can’t be that easy to
- Williams EM. Giraffe Stature and Neck Elongation: Vigilance as an Evolutionary Mechanism. Biology (Basel). 2016 Sep 12;5(3) PubMed PMID: 27626454