Giraffe large sized character jug produced by Quail Ceramics of the Midlands, England, circa 2020. The giraffe is a large African hoofed mammal belonging to the genus Giraffa. It is the tallest living terrestrial animal and the largest ruminant on Earth. The giraffe's chief distinguishing characteristics are its extremely long neck and legs, its horn-like ossicones, and its spotted coat patterns. Its scattered range extends from Chad in the north to South Africa in the south, and from Niger in the west to Somalia in the east. Giraffes usually inhabit savannahs and woodlands. Their food source is leaves, fruits, and flowers of woody plants, primarily acacia species, which they browse at heights most other herbivores cannot reach.