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Giraffe Gait

From their puzzle-piece spots, to their elegant necks, to their supermodel eyelashes, giraffes drip with style. And they know how to work the runway. In fact, of all that we love about the giraffe, it’s their distinctive gait –– their walk, their step, their stride –– that makes us swoon.

What’s so unique about the giraffe’s gait? They move both their right legs and then both left legs in unison, which gives them a very cool strut, almost a swagger. Surprisingly fast, giraffes on the run can reach a top speed of 35 mph, but only in brief bursts. What else walks like a giraffe? Camels do, which in part explains the giraffe’s scientific name: Giraffa camelopardalis.

Unfortunately, this majestic and iconic creature is under threat. Years of poaching and habitat loss have reduced their numbers by almost 40 percent in the last three decades alone, leaving the world’s tallest animal approaching what some are calling a silent extinctionTime for mankind to take notice and take action. 

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