Giraffe and Intelligent Design

The Giraffe and Intelligent Design

I am the world’s tallest animal.  The male of our species stands up to 18 feet tall, weighing 4200 pounds.  Who says Vegan’s have to be low in weight!  The female of our species may grow up to 16 feet tall, weighing up to 2500 pounds.  We breed throughout the year, it takes 14-15 months for a calve to be born.  Males will sometimes fight over a female, using their 25 pound head, nine inch horns, and strong necks, though these fights rarely result in injury.  We are always on the watch for predators, so only sleep about 30 minutes a day, and this is broken up into six five minute naps.  While we do succumb to Lions, our young having a slightly better than 50% life expectancy, just one well placed kick, will kill a Lion.

From the Book, The Design of Life

When a giraffe stands in its normal upright posture, the blood pressure in the neck arteries will be highest at the base of the neck and lowest in the head. The blood pressure generated by the heart must be extremely high to pump the blood to the head. This, in turn, requires a very strong heart. But when the giraffe bends its head to the ground it encounters a potentially dangerous situation. By lowering its head between its front legs, it puts a great strain on the blood vessels of the neck and head. The blood pressure together with the weight of the blood in the neck could produce so much pressure in the head that without safeguards the blood vessels would burst.

Such safeguards, however, are in place. The giraffe’s adaptational package includes a coordinated system of blood pressure control… Pressure sensors along the neck’s arteries monitor the blood pressure and can signal activation of other mechanisms to counter any increase in pressure as the giraffe drinks or grazes. Contraction of the artery walls, the ability to shunt arterial blood flow bypassing the brain, and a web of small blood vessels between the arteries and the brain (the rete mirabile, or “marvelous net”) all control the blood pressure in the giraffe’s head. The giraffe’s adaptations do not occur in isolation but presuppose other adaptations that must all be coordinated into a single, highly specialized organism. (p. 41)

Jae Dakota, Zeke and Mika say:

Giraffes Rock!