|top speed (running)
Giraffes have slightly elongated forelegs, about 10% longer than their hind legs. The pace of the giraffe is an amble, though when pursued it can run extremely fast, up to 55 km/h. It cannot sustain a lengthy chase. Its leg length compels an unusual gait with the left legs moving together followed by right (similar to pacing) at low speed, and the back legs crossing outside the front at high speed. When hunting adult giraffes, lions try to knock the lanky animal off its feet and pull it down. Giraffes are difficult and dangerous prey. The giraffe defends itself with a powerful kick. A single well-placed kick from an adult giraffe can shatter a lion’s skull or break its spine. Lions are the only predators which pose a serious threat to an adult giraffe.