The giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) is an African even-toed ungulate mammal, the tallest of all land-living animal species, and the largest ruminant. It is covered in large, irregular patches of yellow to black fur separated by white, off-white, or dark yellowish brown background. The average mass for an adult male giraffe is 1,200 kilograms (2,600 lb) while the average mass for an adult female is 830 kilograms (1,800 lb). It is approximately 4.3 metres (14 ft) to 5.2 metres (17 ft) tall, although the tallest male recorded stood almost 6 metres (20 ft).
The giraffe is related to deer and cattle, but is placed in a separate family, the Giraffidae, consisting of only the giraffe and its closest relative, the okapi. Its range extends from Chad in Central Africa to South Africa.
Giraffes usually inhabit savannas, grasslands, or open woodlands. However, when food is scarce they will venture into areas with denser vegetation. They prefer areas with plenty of acacia growth. They will drink large quantities of water when available, which enables them to live for extended periods in dry, arid areas.