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Dead Space and Tidal Volume of The Giraffe Compared With Some Other Mammals

The ventilation, tidal volume and anatomical dead-space were measured in a living giraffe and compared with similar in a camel, red deer, llama and man. The giraffe had a resting tidal volume of about 3.3 litres with a dead-space/tidal volume ration of 0.34. The giraffe breathes lowly, apparently because of the unusually small diameter of it’s trachea relative to its length, compared with known measurements in other mammals.

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Respiration and metabolism in the giraffe

Measurements have been made on respiration of three resting unstressed adult giraffe under normal conditions. Tracheal dimensions and body dimensions have also been measured in a large number of giraffe and other mammals. The results indicate that contrary to statements in the literature the giraffe does not have an abnormally large dead space, though the trachea is abnormally long and narrow. The respiratory measurements indicate that the giraffe breathes as predicted by published scaling equations, and at rest shows no

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