Hevelius made this constellation out of the unformed stars scattered between Perseus, Auriga, the head of Ursa Major, and the Pole Star. It marks the northern boundary of the temperate zone, being less than one degree south of the Arctic Circle.
This strangely-named constellation took its name from the giraffe, peculiar to Ethiopia. Not surprisingly, it resembles both the camel and the Leopard. Its body is spotted like that of a Leopard and it has a seven-foot-long neck.
Its fore and hind legs, from the hoof to the second joint, are nearly of the same length. But from the second joint of the legs to the body, the forelegs are so long in comparison with the hind ones, no one can sit on its back without instantly sliding off the way one would from a rearing horse.
Since there are 58 small stars in the constellation, the five largest of which are only of the 4th magnitude, and its principal star is in the thigh, it seems natural that it be named after a truly strange animal.