Giraffes vs Penguins: The Generational Debate

Finn Mc Elwain

The question has plagued me for years now, and I’ve come to realise that the only solution is a truly logical and analytical approach. So I’ve got a list of aspects I’ve written up with which to grade these funky fresh animals. Penguins or Giraffes? You’ll definitively know by the end of this article.

Let’s begin this analysis with a physical aspect; who would deck the other one in a fight? This (at least to me) is an obvious win for the giraffe. Penguins, admittedly, don’t have much in the fighting department, attacking with their wings and sharp beaks is about all they can manage but these are useless against the powerful kicks and stomps of giraffes. This doesn’t even factor in “necking”, which is where the giraffe literally attacks with its neck and head like a damn mace. Easy point for the giraffe here.

The next department is aesthetic; simply put, how stylish are these two in a head-to-head? This is a tighter one for me, as while penguins certainly win in the colour scheme department (sleek monochrome easily beats muddy yellows and browns), giraffes get a lot of style points in their strutting ability. I must say though, the slick aesthetic of penguins do beat the catwalk ready giraffes. Point for the Penguin.

This next one is just called flight skills. No points here.

Both parties will spend their lives without flying. How long are those lives though? In terms of liveability, on average giraffes do tend to live longer, with their 25 years beating penguins’ 15-20 year lifespan. This aspect get’s a bit more interesting however if you look at the oldest penguin on record, a gentoo named Olde (great name guys). Olde is a wildly impressive 42 years of age, which completely schools the oldest giraffe I could find, which was Mutangi, who died at the tender age of 31. The nomenclature alone makes me want to give the point to giraffes, but penguins take this one for me.

Who would win in a race though? This one has some intricacies given that the penguin’s top speed is in water and the giraffe’s is on land, but we’ll just take each respective animal’s best possible environment to give them the best possible chance. The fastest penguins (the gentoo penguins) boast an impressive top speed of 36kmph, many times faster than the fastest human. Don’t get your hopes up though optimistic penguin supporters, as this pales in comparison to the giraffe’s top speed of 60kmph. Not great for the penguin party. Point for giraffes.

So, at the end of the list, who’s gotten the most points? Upon closer inspection it seems there’s been something of a tie between the two parties. This is the opposite of the clear cut victory I was hoping for, but I’ve reached my conclusion. After careful consideration, the giraffe wins logically and analytically, as it has a really long neck and that’s pretty rad. Debate settled scientifically.