When Jim Lillie enters the giraffe enclosure at the National Zoo, he never wears a hat with a visor. The giraffes he cares for aren’t mean, but some of them will feel especially frisky or be in a bad mood. Then the giraffe may kick or swing its neck down and smack Jim with its head! So when Jim cleans the floor or tosses alfalfa into the high feeding racks, he doesn’t wear a hat. It might block his view of what’s happening ten feet above him.
When God made giraffes grow seventeen feet tall—the world’s tallest living animal—He knew they would need special characteristics in order to survive. If a giraffe’s heart and arteries were like other animals’, the slender giant would faint every time it lowered its head to drink. But God gave giraffes a unique circulatory system. He put extra valves in the neck to keep the blood from rushing into the animal’s head when it bends over.
He also gave giraffes a unique heart. It is two feet long, weighs twenty-four pounds, and beats 150 times per minute. Every minute it pumps twenty gallons of blood ten feet up the neck into the brain. The blood pressure necessary to accomplish this would kill other animals, but not the giraffe. Its extra-tough arteries easily handle the pressure.
The giraffe is unlike any other creature in the world. Yet it is graceful, harmless, friendly, and as intelligent as a horse. Who else but God could think of inventing a speckled creature with golf-ball-sized eyes . . . that’s two stories tall?