Head and Shoulders

While a giraffe's neck can reach six feet long, making it head and shoulders above the rest of the Animal KingdomEvery animal (from butterflies to basset hounds to black bears to you) belongs to this scientific grouping., there are other creatures with necks that will certainly turn heads!

 

The gerenuk (pronounced "gair-uh-nook") has a neck that's so notable, its name even means "giraffe necked" in the Somali language. This gazelle's long neck helps it reach and feed on leaves that are too high for other antelope. Another way the gerenuk gets "a-head" of its fellow leaf eaters—standing upright on its LONG legs to gain even more height. Learn more about this amazing animalAny living thing that is not a plant. Most animals can move about freely. All use plants or other animals as food. All have sensory organs. in this month's video.

 

Long necks aren't just for mammals, either. SnakeAn animal with a long, scaly body and no arms, legs, or wings. Snakes have backbones and are cold-blooded.-necked turtles, like the Parker's snakeAn animal with a long, scaly body and no arms, legs, or wings. Snakes have backbones and are cold-blooded.-necked turtle in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, bend their necks and tuck their heads sideways into their shells rather than pulling it directly back. That long neck helps it reach farther to snap up fish.

 

Another long-necked animalAny living thing that is not a plant. Most animals can move about freely. All use plants or other animals as food. All have sensory organs. has a tall tale about it. Ostriches—with their 3- to 4-foot-long necks—do NOT bury their heads in the sand! While you may have seen that in cartoons, in reality, one of this birdAn animal that has wings and is covered with feathers. Birds have a backbone, are warm-blooded, produce young from eggs, and walk on their two legs. Most can fly.'s defensive behaviorIn biology, an organism's activity in response to its environment. The study of animal behavior is called ethology. is to lay low at the approach of trouble. They press their long necks to the ground in an attempt to become less visible. From a distance, it may look like they have buried their heads in the sand. But now you've uncovered the truth about that!