Which animal has the longest neck in the world?

Animals can have some pretty bizarre characteristics, but few are as weird and wacky as those long-necked beasts that roam the Earth. Which animal species has the longest neck in the world?

Do flamingos have the longest neck in the world, or is the real victor more... obvious?
Do flamingos have the longest neck in the world, or is the real victor more... obvious?  © Imago / Blickwinkel

There are many animals in the world, taking many different shapes and sizes. Some are big, some are small, and some even have claws.

What we often forget about, though, is the neck. After all, humans have rather unimpressive scruffs. There are those, however, who possess something magnificent.

Find out which creature holds the animal record for longest neck in the world, and learn all about these interesting beasts right here on TAG24.

Longest animal neck in the world

Giraffes have the longest necks in the world.
Giraffes have the longest necks in the world.  © Imago / Blickwinkel

Giraffes are the longest-necked animals in the world. Famous for their insane height and flexibility, these lengthy necks are adorned with a beautiful brown-and-gold pattern that also features across the rest of the giraffe's coat. They have hooves, similar to horses, and are generally found across the African continent, particularly in South Africa, Chad, Niger, and Somalia.

These beautiful mammals live in medium-sized herds and even have families. They raise their offspring and hold social structures based on a system of "necking" between males, which generally involves combat through the use of their neck as a weapon. They hold a vulnerable and threatened conservation status.

How long is the world's longest neck?

The giraffe's long neck can reach an average of 7–10 feet in length, not including the height of its body. That means the average giraffe neck is longer than most people are tall. Indeed, the tallest of humans would be pretty short if they were converted into a giraffe neck – not that this would happen, of course!

According to the Guinness World Records, the world's longest giraffe neck belonged to a bloke at Australia Zoo, in the north-eastern state of Queensland. Forest was a 12-year-old adult male giraffe, and reached a total height of almost 19 feet. Interestingly, Forest was so tall that it was hard to actually measure him, with Australia Zoo staff having to rig up a measuring pole just for the occasion.

Which dinosaur had the longest neck?

The Sauropod, also referred to as the "Lizard Earthquake God," was a herbivore that featured a neck estimated to be approximately 36–39 feet long, according to the Guinness World Records. Don't worry, though, you're never going to bump into these beasts – they lived about 110 million years ago, during the mid-Cretaceous period.

This gives the Sauropod what is potentially the longest neck to have ever existed on Earth. Oh, and guess what: They were American! The original fossils were found in Oklahoma in 1994.

What other animals have long necks?

Even after only a small amount of digging, it's pretty easy to find a few other long-necked beasties. Giraffes aren't the only lanky kids on the block, and we're not going to let them get away with that perception. All of these animals will put human necks to shame, so let's dive in.

Here are a few of the other longest-necked animals in the world:

  • Camels
  • Llamas
  • Alpacas
  • Swans
  • Flamingos
  • Ostriches
  • Emus
  • Gazelles
  • Ibises
  • Snake-necked Turtles

Food for thought: In many cultures, a long neck is seen as attractive in humans. To many, it is a symbol of beauty and elegance, and in Myanmar, the Kayan people actually wear brass coils around their necks specifically designed to lengthen them.

The world's longest neck comes with one hell of a view!

Giraffes tower above the savannas, peering curiously across the fields towards dusty trees and rocky hills. They are gorgeous animals and, other than having the longest necks in the world, also hold another record: the greatest view any land-dweller can hope to achieve naturally, without climbing a hill, of course.

Yeah, okay, that's probably not a real record, but it doesn't mean that giraffes aren't incredible animals that deserve our protection. As vulnerable, threatened species, these long-necked beauties will certainly need it.

Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO / Blickwinkel

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