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 abnormalities of rate or depth. The respiratory evaporative water loss is very small. Body temperature is labile with a range of at least 3.3 °C, and oxygen consumption, respiratory frequency, minute volume and respiratory evaporative water loss are all strongly correlated with body temperature.

Last Updated
January 27, 2021
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