Giraffes are one of the tallest animals in the wild. Despite their towering height, their appearance begs comparison to that of horses. For instance, their bodies and faces are pretty similar. For this reason, you may wonder:
Are giraffes related to horses? No, giraffes are not related to horses. Although these two animals have many similarities, both of them come from two different families. In short, giraffes and horses are two different species.
Giraffes and horses belong to hoofed mammals. Moreover, they are both herbivores, which means they may share the same regarding food preference. Still, these two mammals are distinct from each other because they come from two different families.
In this article, you’ll read through some of the questions related to these two animals. This way, you can notice how they are not related to each other and understand a bit more about each one.
Without further ado, let’s get into it!
Table of Contents
Are giraffes a type of horse?
Giraffes are not a type of horse. True enough, these two animals have many similarities to the point that you’ll think giraffes are a type of horse. However, they both belong in different order or family.
For instance, giraffes come from the even-toed ungulate family, or also known as Artiodactyla. This family includes animals such as okapis and pronghorns.
Another thing to note is that the animals from this group are ruminants like cows. It means they have multi-chambered stomachs, allowing them to feed on pounds of grass without any problem.
On the other hand, horses come from the odd-toed ungulate family, or also known as Perissodactyla. Some animals belonging to this group are donkeys, kiang, onager, and zebras.
Unlike giraffes, horses are non-ruminant animals. In short, they don’t have multi-chambered stomachs like giraffes do. Instead, horses have a simple digestive process that works like that of humans’.
With this in mind, you may wonder how close these two animals are when it comes to family.
How closely are giraffes related to horses?
Giraffes and horses are not closely related to each other. Of course, as hoofed herbivores, they may share a common ancestor.
Still, both animals come from different families, which means they have distant relations as a family of animals.
In simple terms, you may say giraffes are far more related to pigs than horses.
As I said earlier, giraffes are more in connection to animals such as okapis and pronghorns.
On the other hand, horses have relatives such as zebras and donkeys. Even outside the family, they are far more related to rhinos and tapirs than giraffes.
Upon establishing this fact, you may ask if there’s a chance for horses and giraffes to produce a hybrid. Thus, you may ask:
Can you breed a horse and a giraffe?
You cannot breed a horse and a giraffe, and it’s because they don’t come in the same species.
Now, if you would take a look in the wild, an animal looks like a hybrid of giraffes, horses, and zebras. This animal is none other than the Okapi.
An Okapi has legs with stripes like that of zebras. It has a big body like horses, a lengthy (but not as long) neck, and a similar face to giraffes.
This animal isn’t a popular species because it’s only been recently discovered. However, it seems like a hybrid between these three animals.
Is it even possible for a giraffe and a horse to meet in nature or the wild?
Can a giraffe and a horse meet in nature?
A giraffe and a horse can meet in nature since they share the same environment and habitat in the wild.
For instance, wild horses live in harsh environments and even in typical grasslands.
On the other hand, giraffes also prefer living in savannas and grasslands.
For this reason, these two animals may encounter each other. However, it doesn’t mean they would mate and potentially produce hybrid species.
Moreover, they won’t harm each other since both animals are herbivores. They also won’t compete for food since giraffes tend to eat tree leaves and horses tend to feed on grass.
So, are giraffes related to horses? No, giraffes are not related to horses. While both animals are the same in many ways, both of them come from two different families.
Giraffes come from the even-toed ungulate family, or also known as Artiodactyla. Meanwhile, horses come from the odd-toed ungulate family, or also known as Perissodactyla. In short, giraffes and horses are two different species.
Giraffes and horses belong to hoofed mammals. They are also herbivores. In short, it means they may share the same when it comes to food preference.
In the end, these two mammals are distinct from each other, and it’s not likely that they will produce hybrid offspring even though they can meet in the wild.
Image credits – Canva