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Why does the giraffe have a long neck? Animation describing how and why giraffes have developed such long necks. Sam, a young tortoise, wishes he had a longer neck to reach the nicest leaves. Grandad Charlie tells Sam a story about giraffes. Long ago, giraffes didn't have long necks. They wanted to eat the higher leaves but had to compete with elephants and antelopes for the lower leaves. One day, a giraffe was born with a slightly longer neck. She could reach the food and the juicy leaves. When she had young, some of them also had longer necks and they too were better at reaching for food. Over many years, other giraffes were born with longer necks. These giraffes survived better than the giraffes with the shorter necks, and eventually all of the giraffes had long necks.
First broadcast:
24 March 2009

Classroom Ideas

Using the animals in this clip, the children could be challenged to identify their similarities and differences. It could be used to introduce habitats and how animals live together in the same place. Children could then write their own fact sheets on giraffes, antelopes and elephants, describing where they live and what they eat.