Giraffes frequently rest while standing, but recent research suggests that they lie down more frequently than previously assumed. They fold their legs under their bodies when lying down, but they maintain their necks lifted high. In this resting stance, giraffe have been seen to continue browsing and ruminating.
It is not common to see a giraffe lying down, as this African animal has evolved to be on alert to predators and it’s difficult for giraffes to make a quick escape from a seated position!
Giraffes can sleep with their heads resting back on their rump on rare occasions and for very brief periods of time (usually less than 5 minutes). Because this is such an exposed and vulnerable position, it is only seen seldom and for brief periods of time. Giraffes in zoos have been observed to enter REM sleep when in this position.