The giraffe is the highest living animal. Many giraffes are over 5 meters high, and the record is 580 cm. The long neck is a good help when the giraffe has to keep an eye out for predators or when it needs to sip leaves of the tree tops. The giraffe has the same number of cervical vertebrae as almost all other mammals, but the 7 cervical vertebrae are both larger, heavier and much longer than any other animal. The long neck is an obstacle when the giraffe is to drink. Then it is too short, and the giraffe must laboriously spread the long front legs or bend down to the knees to reach the water.