Animals have developed and adapted in different ways according to their environment. Giraffes have necks that are longer than the usual length. The survival hypothesis is by far the most widely held view.
Long-necked animals like giraffes, for example, often share their environment with other species that rely on plants and leaves for their food supply. Giraffes have developed necks that are longer than those of other foragers to reach the highest branches in the forest.
This method of eating reduces the amount of food fought over. Other theories include those based on natural selection and evolution. Scientists have speculated that long necks help attract and battle for females. Let us look at these 27 amazing creatures with long necks below.
What Animal Has a Long Neck?
The animals with long necks are as follows.
Male giraffes have the longest necks in the whole animal kingdom. An adult male giraffe’s neck can measure up to 8 feet in length, and that of an adult female up to 7 feet.
When there are lengthy periods of drought, you can find giraffes in Southern and Eastern Africa. Their long necks enable them to live in environments where droughts are common and food is limited.
When other terrestrial browsers cannot reach the leaves and buds, these herbivores can.
Male giraffes battle for mates by extending their necks as far as they can go. When they battle, they primarily use their hefty skull-like heads to whip each other’s necks around. It is more probable that a male giraffe with a longer and thicker neck will win a battle and get mating privileges.
Heavier-than-average-sized birds Rheas are distantly linked to Emu and Ostrich in evolutionary terms. Rheas have exceptionally long wings for a bird that cannot fly.
You can find these long-necked birds only in South America, and they like massive areas. In addition to their gray-brown feathers, rheas are known for their long necks and legs.
Despite being omnivores, rheas primarily consume broad-leaved plants and fruits. They may also devour tiny animals like insects and reptiles, such as rodents.
Ostriches belong to a broad family of flightless birds called ratites, which includes several species. African savanna birds are massive living species. Nearly half of an adult male ostrich’s 3.2-foot height comes from the bird’s neck.
When threatened, ostriches cannot fly because of their enormous weight of up to 145 kg. Despite this, they have developed remarkable talents to elude predators and thrive in the open forests and savannas.
The ostriches are long and flexible enough to pivot in any direction. They can see the predators before they come too near, thanks to their 360-degree view of the surrounding region. It is in addition to the fact that the ostrich has long, strong legs that can sprint as fast as 43 mph (70 km/h).
These birds are located in Argentina and Mexico and are known for their long neck and legs. “Swollen neck” is how the Tupi-Guarani language describes the name Jabiru.
These birds’ white plumage and black and rednecks make them easy to spot. In terms of size, they are one of America’s enormous flying birds. The jabirus are a gregarious bird and feed primarily on fish and amphibians in watery environments. As opportunistic eaters, they use their sense of touch more than their eyesight while hunting.
The gerenuk (pronounced “gair-uh-nook”) is a Somali term meaning “giraffe-necked.” They are also known as Waller’s gazelle. When it comes to the Horn of Africa’s gazelle population, this one stands out with its unusually giant neck.
They are herbivores and eat shoots, thorny shrubs, fruits, flowers, nectar, and pollen. They can reach plants as high as 6-8 feet with their long neck and muscular hind limbs.
Gerenuks have evolved unusual wedge-shaped hooves to reach higher shrubs and changed their lumbar vertebrae. The gerenuks’ food depends on succulent plants rich in moisture since they can climb higher than other gazelles and antelopes.
These plants do not need grass or water to thrive because of this. They can grow in shrublands and deserts because of this.
North and South America, the Caribbean, and the Galapagos Islands have herons as residents. Herons are medium-sized birds that like slow-moving freshwaters and have long necks and legs.
Unlike most other long-necked birds, Herons actually retract their necks while flying. 22 cervical vertebrae in their necks enable them to twist their necks into an “S” shape when flying or hunting prey.
As carnivorous birds, herons often feed on fish and other water prey. Fish, reptiles, aquatic insects, and amphibians are all included in this group.
7. Eastern Snake-Necked Turtles
They are known as side-necked turtles in the east. Their diet consists of tiny fish, amphibians, crustaceans, insects, and worms. They are carnivores. Freshwater habitats in southeast Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria are home to these turtles.
The necks of these turtles are as long as those of any other turtles in existence today. However, their neck is nearly 60% longer than the total length of their carapace (shell).
The necks of females are typically longer than those of men. These turtles cannot fully retract their necks into their shells because of their long necks.
As an alternative, they contort their necks and tuck their heads inside their carapace in a pleat-like fashion. They utilize their long neck to reach close enough to their food before snatching it into the eastern snake-necked neck.
The anhinga is known by different names, including water turkey, darter, snakebird, and devil bird. However, the creature’s elongated neck is not the only characteristic that sets it apart from others. Anhingas are known to consume newborn alligators.
In addition to fish and crayfish, shrimp, water snakes, and other aquatic insects, their diet also includes fish. The anhingas are known as snakebirds because they swim with their necks above the water surface like snakes. Both freshwater and saltwater environments are home to anhinga populations.
9. Scarlet Ibis
Spoonbills and the Scarlet Ibis are both brightly colored pink birds. They are native to South America with a medium-sized neck, down-curved mouth, and somewhat webbed feet.
Mudflats, marshes, mangroves, wetlands, bays, swamps, and ponds are just a few places you can find Ibis. Male ibises are somewhat taller than females, with a rough height of 2.5 feet.
Crayfish, shrimp, and crabs make up the bulk of their diet. Insects, frogs, tiny snakes, fish, and snails are possible prey items. Predators are flushed out of their hiding places by the Ibis’ curvy, narrow beaks as they search for food when foraging.
Their long necks aid their quest for food in shallow water and mudflats. Moreover, these birds have been effective in eradicating pests that threaten crops!
10. Komodo Dragons
Komodo Dragons are creepy creatures with long necks and deadly fangs, advantageous for hunting and eating. With a weight of up to 150 pounds, the Komodo dragon is a massive reptile on the planet today.
Despite its little appearance, this living fossil is not a flying or fire-breathing dragon. To be sure, it has terrifying characteristics like poisonous teeth and armored skin.
Wild boar, deer, and water buffalo are no match for the gigantic Komodo dragons that roam the forests of the world’s islands. Fossil records show dwarfed elephants can take them down when they inhabited the islands during the Pleistocene.
These reptiles use an ambush method to capture their prey. When an unsuspecting animal passes on their island, it will lurk in the shadows, ready to spring into action and deliver a poisonous bite.
11. Whooper Swans
Swans, like ducks and geese, are large-bodied birds with a strong kinship to swans. Australia, New Zealand, and the Chatham Islands are among the places where you may find them in the wild.
In the tropics and the whole continent of Africa, they are uncommon. As one of the world’s giant living animals, the Whooper Swan can reach 4 ft or 1.2 meters in height.
From the tail to the tip of the bill, it can measure 5 feet or 1.5 meters. Swallows have longer necks than geese, usually reaching a maximum length of 3 feet or 0.91 meters.
Their diet consists of aquatic and submerged plant leaves, roots, stems, and tubers. They can forage in and out of the water because of their long and flexible necks. Short-necked swans will have a difficult time feeding and seeing predators underwater.
12. Whooping Crane
The whooping crane belongs to the family Gruidae, which consists of other types of cranes. Its name comes from the distinctive vocalizations it makes, heard from a distance of more than a mile away.
They are endemic to North America and can be found down to the Gulf of Mexico in the south, ranging as far north as Canada. Because of their height, ranging from 4 feet and 1 inch to 5 feet and 3 inches, they are considered the tallest birds native to North America.
Even though they have a red head and black wingtips, most of their plumage is white. The neck of the whooping crane is straight compared to several other birds’ necks.
When they are in shallow water, they utilize the length of their necks to capture fish, crabs, and mollusks. With around 800 whooping cranes left in the world today because of the destruction of their natural habitat and excessive hunting.
Among the sauropod dinosaurs are Brachiosaurus, Apatosaurus, Diplodocus, and many more. The Supersaurus was a massive sauropod. Some superheroes had necks weighing more than 50 tons each.
A Sauropod dinosaur gets distinguished by its giant size, long neck and tail, four-legged posture, and preference for the herbivore. These dinosaurs were the most massive land creatures ever to have been.
The flamingo is a kind of wading bird. Black flying feathers and pink wing converters are characteristic features of this species. The Americas are home to four flamingo species, whereas the rest of the world is home to two, each from Europe, Africa, and Asia.
The tallest flamingo species may reach 4.7 feet or 1.45 meters in height. Their lengthy necks, which may reach a maximum of 2.6 feet (0.79 meters) in length, are another distinguishing feature.
They may filter-feed on brine shrimp, tiny crustaceans, blue-green algae, and other minute organisms because of their long, S-shaped necks.
The 19 elongated cervical vertebrae in their sinuous necks allow for maximum twisting. They can even brush their feathers by bending their necks backward.
These aquatic dinosaurs resemble the legendary Loch Ness Monster in appearance. They were known as Nessie. The sauropods’ necks include as many as 19 vertebrae, in contrast to the giraffe’s neck, which only has seven vertebrae.
Paleontologists have also discovered that the neck bones of sauropods were hollow, similar to the bones of birds, allowing them to weigh substantially less than most of their bones.
16. Dromedary Camels
The Arabian camel is another name for this animal. The Sahara Desert, Afghanistan, and the Middle East have domesticated dromedary camels. A mature dromedary camel may reach a height of 7 to 10 feet in the shoulder (2.1 meters).
With their tall neck, humped back, long thin legs, and a small tail, camels have a striking appearance. An extended neck descends, a tiny and thin head at the top.
Camel’s long necks are necessary since they eat ground plants. The long camelid limbs are present in the Dromedary and Bactrian species. They must have a long neck to avoid bending down and squatting when feeding.
17. Great Egret
The great egret is an Ardeidae member of the heron family. It is known as the common and the great white egret. The great egret inhabits a wide variety of wet and dry environments over the continents of Europe, Asia, Africa, and North and South America.
The meaning of its Latin name, Ardea alba, means “a white heron,” which is a fitting title for this bird. The great egret is nearly all white, except for its black legs and feet and yellow beak.
Usually, their length ranges from 31 to 41 inches, while their wingspans may range anywhere from 52 to 67 inches. Fish make up the most of their food, although they also consume other animals such as insects, frogs, reptiles, and small mammals.
You can typically see a great egret flying with its neck retracted from above. However, these birds have a habit of walking their necks extended out in front of them when not in the air.
18. Giant Ibis
The enormous ibis is a kind that belongs to the same family as the spoonbill, the Threskiornithidae. It is the sole member of its genus, Thaumatibis, and holds the record for the largest ibis still alive today.
These big wading birds are endemic to just certain regions of Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam in Southeast Asia. Their natural habitat consists of wetland environments, including marshes, lakes, rivers, and ponds. However, you can also find it in open meadows. They range in length from 40 to 41.5 inches and weigh 9.3 pounds on average.
Their plumage is a dark gray-brown color and has darker bands over the head and shoulders. The tips of their wings are silver.
A massive ibis has a neck that is unusually long and bends backward before thrusting forward abruptly. They can capture aquatic invertebrates, crustaceans, amphibians, reptiles, and insects such as mole crickets with the assistance of their long necks.
An alpaca is a member of the camelid family that hails from South America. It looks like a long-necked camel, but it lacks humps. As far as breeds go, there are two main ones: Hucayá alpaca and Suri alpaca. Long, straight ears and a rounded back identify these creatures.
In addition, they have long and shaggy necks, large lips, and prominent noses. Their 3.8-foot-long necks serve two significant functions. The first thing to note is that these animals, like the llama and vicuna, like munching on leaves from trees.
They develop long necks and legs to consume leaves from the top of the trees. They also look for dangerous predators like bears, mountain lions, and coyotes, thanks to their extra-length necks.
20. Marabou Stork
The marabou stork is a species that belongs to the family Ciconiidae, also famous as the undertaker bird. Its appearance, which features massive wings that resemble a cloak and a grayish-black color, is the source of its moniker.
In addition, the marabou stork has long, slender legs, a bald head and neck, and a patch of white hair in the middle of its back. Usually, they have a height of sixty inches, a weight of close to twenty pounds, and a wing spread ranging from seven to thirteen and a half feet.
They are endemic to southern Africa, south of the Sahara Desert, and are successful in humid and arid environments. Even though they reside in colonies, marabou storks can display antagonistic behavior against one another.
Carrion makes up most of their food, which most likely explains why their head and neck do not have any feathers. These birds with long necks do not have feathers, which allows them to keep their bodies clean while digging the bodies of dead people.
21. Goliath Heron
The Goliath Heron is a species of heron that belongs to the family Ardeidae. It is also known as the Giant Heron. Usually, goliath herons range in length from 3 feet, 11 inches to 5 feet, and their weight varies from 8.8 to 11 pounds.
Their appearance includes pale brown and gray. The throat, the front of the neck, and the upper chest have white with black streaks. It is in contrast to the rest of its body.
They avoid flying over land whenever it is feasible and reside nearly entirely near bodies of water such as lakes, marshes, and deltas. Although most of them are in sub-Saharan Africa, you may also locate some in South Asia.
Although fish like mullet, tilapia, and carp make up the bulk of their diet, they consume almost whatever they can capture. They can capture a diverse array of prey with the assistance of their very long necks.
The llama is a South American camelid family member domesticated for its meat. The countries of Colombia, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, and Argentina all have llama herds.
Also, they are sold to other nations throughout the globe. The slender-bodied lamoid is the biggest of the four lamoid species, which is around 5.8 feet in height. The necks of these social creatures develop to a length of up to 4.3 feet (1.3 meters), making them very long-necked.
Grass and other plants are what they eat. The llama’s long legs make it difficult to graze on the ground since it cannot get to it.
Due to this, they have developed long necks, so they can feed standing up instead of stooping down. It is also dangerous since you never know where the next predator may come from if you have to stoop to browse!
23. Roseate Spoonbill
The roseate spoonbill with ibis is a member of the family of storks and ibises known as the Threskiornithidae. They inhabit the areas of the southeast United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.
They range in length from 28 to 34 inches and weigh anywhere from 2.6 to 4 pounds on average. Because of its reddish-pink coloring and big, spoon-shaped beak, this bird is called the roseate spoonbill.
Besides their basic colorful plumage, they have white feathers on their long neck, back, and breast in addition to their brilliant primary plumage. They also consume insects, frogs, and newts.
Their primary source of nutrition is crustaceans, giving them a pinkish hue similar to that of flamingos. The long necks of roseate spoonbills are an asset to them while foraging for food in areas with a shallow water depth.
24. Sandhill Crane
Across North America, sandhill cranes are present in open marshes, fields, and prairies. These cranes spend the summer breeding in Canada and the winter in the southern United States.
During the spring and autumn migration, they pass through the Central Flyway and the Great Plains of the United States.
Sandhill cranes are distinguished by their long necks and legs, in addition to their gray bodies and red crowns. The distinctive cry of the sandhill crane makes it simple to tell it apart from other types of cranes.
Sandhill cranes can harmonize because their voice cords coil down to their sternum. Adults typically stand at four feet (1.2 meters) in height, have a maximum body weight of twelve pounds (5.44 kg), and have a lifetime of twenty years.
Like other types of cranes, Sandhill cranes have complex mating rituals that include intricate dances. The same nesting place is used for years by the same couple, staying together for life.
25. Black Headed Heron
Grasslands in sub-Saharan Africa are home to black-headed herons. Depending on the species, adults may grow up to 90 centimeters (35 in) in length and weigh up to 1.5 kilograms (4 lb). The rainy season is the time of year when black-headed herons lay their eggs.
26. Kori Bustard
The world’s biggest flying bird, the kori bustard, weighs 19 kilograms (41 pounds). It is one of only four Ardeotis bustard species found in grasslands and savannas in eastern and southern Africa.
Besides insects and small animals, they consume seeds and berries as well. Males inflate their esophagus up to four times its usual size to mate with as many females as possible using a special presentation. Although kori bustards can fly, they prefer to stay on the ground and only go to the air when necessary.
27. White-faced Ibis
In terms of its origin, the white-faced ibis is not entirely clear. Because their colonies are difficult to access, little is known about their numbers and behavior.
The typical adult is around 50 centimeters long and weighs about 500 grams (1.10 lbs). They like to live at the margins of marshes and damp fields, where they consume earthworms and other invertebrates like slugs and snails.
It is one of only six spoonbill species in the world and the only one found in Europe, like the roseate spoonbill. They are 60 cm in length, and adults weigh one to two kilos (3.2-6 lbs). Crustaceans and tiny fish are the primary food sources for European spoonbills.
The animal world is home to a wide variety of bizarre animals. Animals are hilarious to look at for several reasons, including their disproportionately large feet and heads.
It should be no surprise that giraffes are not the only creatures in our world with long necks. There are creatures with long necks before any humans.
There are a few different kinds of dinosaurs that had necks that were even longer than those of giraffes. These animals have developed their long necks to assist them in both eating and protecting themselves.
Hi There, AJ Oren here. I am the founder of this amazing pet blog & a passionate writer who loves helping pet owners to learn more about their pets through my articles. I am also the content manager of this blog. I have experience in pet training and behavior, sheltering, and currently working for a veterinary clinic.