Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) giving birth. Northern Tuli Game Reserve. Botswana. The Giraffe Giraffe gestation lasts 400–460 days, after which a single calf is usually born, although twins do occur on rare occasions. The mother gives birth standing up. The calf emerges head and front legs first, having broken through the fetal membranes, and falls to the ground, severing the umbilical cord. The mother then grooms the newborn and helps it stand up. A newborn giraffe is about 1.8 m tall. Within a few hours of birth, the calf can run around and is almost indistinguishable from a one-week-old. However, for the first 1–3 weeks, it spends most of its time hiding its coat pattern providing camouflage. The ossicones, which have lain flat while it was in the womb, become erect within a few days.