Well-known for towering height and patchy spots, giraffes are equally admired for their ability to thrive with just 4.5 hours of sleep per day—and usually less, considering their vulnerability to predators in the open savannah (Photo by Mitsuyoshi Tatematsu). Giraffes usually sleep standing up, but will occasionally take short naps lying on the ground while using their own backsides as pillows! Like this baby giraffe:
Imagine the terrible crick in your neck if you attempted to sleep curled with your head on your rump. You might put your chiropractor on speed dial after that, but giraffes sleep seamlessly in this posture due to their elongated neck vertebrae, which promote flexibility.
This sleeping posture is quite uncommon, but when it does occur, it’s usually in captivity where giraffes are safe from prowling predators—so, next time you visit a zoo, look for sleepy giraffes and you might just see one curl up for a catnap.
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