This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Phylogeny And Subspecies Of Giraffa Camelopardalis

1703 words - 7 pages

Not only are giraffes the tallest animals in the world, they are also one of the most recognizable. Their characteristic long necks quickly captivate any audience. That being said, it is not commonly known that there are thought to be nine subspecies of Giraffa camelopardalis. In fact, there is increasing evidence that these could potentially be separate species in their own right. This paper will discuss where giraffes fit in the Tree of Life and identify the giraffe’s closest relatives, differentiate and analyze the similarities and differences between the nine subspecies, and, finally, explore any debate revolving around the phylogeny of the subspecies.
The full scientific classification of the giraffe is Animalia Chordata Mammalia Artiodactyla Ruminantia Pecora Giraffidea Giraffa camelopardalis. There were at one time seven species in the genus Giraffa but today only one is still extant: camelopardalis, (Mitchell and Skinner, 2010). Because the modern giraffe does not have any other extant species within its genus, it is helpful to look the phylogenetic tree from a broader perspective. Going beyond the level of genus, the giraffe belong to the family Giraffidea. This family, though, is very small, as it only contains two different extant genera: Giraffa and Okapia, (Lerner and Lerner, 2008) Okapia, or the okapi, represents the closest living relative to the giraffe, and the two are very similar both morphologically and molecularly. The two animals can trace their ancestry back from the “gelocid ancestral assemblage” 20-25 million years to the family Palaeomeridae. From the palaeomerycids arose the Antilocaprinae from the subfamily Dromomerycinae, and two subfamilies of giraffids, the Climacoceratidae and Canthumerycidae. (Skinner and Mitchell, 2010). As it turns out, the Climacoceratidae is not an extinct line, but the Canthumerycidae represents the latest common ancestor between the okapi and the giraffe.
The family Giraffidea is characterized as being herbivorous, mostly browsing the foliage of woody plants. On top of that, both the giraffe and the okapi are ruminants, meaning they have a complex stomach divided into four pouches. As ruminants, they chew cud, which is a “regurgitated mass of pre-digested plantmatter” they obtain from one of their four stomachs, (Lerner and Lerner, 2008). As the re-chewed material passes through their alimentary system, the nutrients are absorbed. Both the giraffe and the okapi have very large, upright ears which allows them to pick up even the slightest sounds in order to avoid danger. The okapi also has a long, dark, prehensile tongue, just like a giraffe’s, to help it strip the buds and young leaves from the understory brush of its rain forest home. Though their basic bodily structure is fairly similar, there are some key distinctions. Similar to the giraffe, the okapi has distinctive horizontal stripes on its legs, but these stripes shift into being a uniform-chestnut pelage at the torso of the...

Find Another Essay On Phylogeny and Subspecies of Giraffa Camelopardalis

Captive or Cruel? Essay

2320 words - 10 pages Giraffa camelopardalis, commonly know as the Giraffe. The tallest terrestrial animal on the planet, has a tongue as long as 20 inches. They are consistently one of the most visited attractions at many zoos, amusement parks and even on safaris in the wild. Their popularity is probably based on the fact that they are easy enough to manage and relatively friendly, gentle, and often quite interactive with zoo visitors. Their odd proportions and

Australopithecus Afarensis, and Australopithecus Africanus Essay

1027 words - 5 pages The phylogeny started off with Proconsul heseloni as the common ancestor to Sivapithecus indicus, Australopithecus afarensis, and Australopithecus Africanus. The reasoning for this was from the approximated age of Proconsul heseloni of 23 million years ago. This places Sivapithecus indicus roughly 15 million years after, suggesting that Sivapithecus indicus directly evolved from Proconsul heseloni. From Proconsul heseloni, it was decided that

Killing a Legacy

1139 words - 5 pages , who was to be feared and avoided; yet, through scientific research a newfound understanding of the gorilla was adopted in the mid-nineteenth century. The gorilla has been persistently studied in its natural habitat in the mountain and lowland rainforest regions throughout various parts of Africa, which has enriched mankind’s understanding of this gentle and family oriented creature. Molecular phylogeny was the long held standard for the

Seed Ergastic Substances Profiling and its Implications for the Amaranthaceae–Chenopodiaceae Complex

1039 words - 5 pages still need to study its phylogeny. The present study shows that a considerably level of similarity exists amongst the taxa (Figure 1 and 2). The genus Amaranthus (Amarathaceae) and the Chenopodiaceae genus Atriplex alongside C. hybridum correlated strongly with the first component of the PCA. The species Chenopodium botrys and Chenopodium polyspermum were most strongly correlated with the second component and form the most divergence group

Classification of Organisms

1702 words - 7 pages to kingdom. Taxa Used in Taxonomy ===================== Species ------- Organisms That are able to interbreed, producing fertile offspring are considered to be of the same species, this taxon can also be divided into subspecies and then strains (to give more finite classification). Genus A groups of organisms that are similar and fairly closely related. Family A group of organisms

Hominid Species Evolution

2870 words - 12 pages   Contents Part 2 - Analytical Essay (Hominid Species Evolution) 3 Figure 1 - Hominid Species Phylogeny 4 Part 3 - Descriptive Essay 7 Part 2 - Analytical Essay (Hominid Species Evolution) Hominid Species can be defined as "any of the modern or extinct bipedal primates of the family Hominidae to the extent of Homo Sapiens, present day humans" (2009). These species date back to a time frame within 23 million years ago and have all

Natural Selection and Phenotypic Variation

2025 words - 8 pages of this includes the case of specific species of butterflies whose appearance has been changed by experimentally manipulating the sensitive period of development so that they show increased similarity to other geographic subspecies (Goldschmidt 1933). That is, a change in the developmental pathway is enough to lead to morphological and functional change. This however, is contingent on the manipulation of end-processes that directly lead to

Human Origins

2113 words - 8 pages . Neither term clarifies the description of archaeological evidence, nor does either of them refine our understanding of the evolution and variability of a particular behavior. They have become postmodern concepts, words that mean whatever one wants them to. Feder and Park address the concept of phylogeny, and indirectly the phylogenetic species concept through their discussion of the evolutionary based division that defines this system of


1547 words - 6 pages found in East Africa. "The Plains Zebra (Equus quagga, formerly Equus burchelli) is the most common, and has or had about twelve subspecies distributed across much of southern and eastern Africa. It, or particular subspecies of it, have also been known as the Common Zebra, the Dauw, Burchell's Zebra (actually the subspecies Equus quagga burchellii), Chapman's Zebra, Wahlberg's Zebra, Selous' Zebra, Grant's Zebra, Boehm's Zebra and the Quagga


1797 words - 8 pages evolved a single time within ratites, a group which contains multiple species (Cracraft). The researchers made their conclusion based exclusively on phylogeny and not on physical traits as some other researchers have done, emphasizing the connection between phylogeny and evolution (Cracraft). However, regardless of the bird’s ancestry, there is strong belief among scientists that flightless birds began to evolve around the same time as the mass

Genome Sequencing

1672 words - 7 pages old system, in contrast, is all but written in stone, and it may take a long time for the winds of evolutionary change to take hold. In contrast, microbial phylogeny has always been a weak, and in a sense immature, discipline, and as such, molecular data is being used readily to develop a new phylogenetic system .Because the universal phylogenetic tree brings us face to face with the great evolutionary questions, our growing ability to formulate

Similar Essays

Ecology Of Giraffa Camelopardalis Essay

1191 words - 5 pages Ecology of Giraffa camelopardalis Made popular by their long necks and distinctive camouflage coats, giraffes are the tallest land animals in the world. Their incredible body gives them a very specific niche within the ecology of African savannahs and the Sahara desert. This essay will focus on the ecology of these non-territorial herbivores, primarily focusing different factors that affect giraffe herbivory including location, sex, and age

Studying The Facts Of The Giraffe, Giraffa Camelopardalis

1145 words - 5 pages Taxonomy: Domain: Eukarya Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Subphylum: Vertebrata Superclass: Tetrapoda Class: Mammalia Subclass: Theria Infraclass: Eutheria Order: Artiodactyla Family: Giraffidae Genus: Giraffa Species: Giraffa camelopardalis Common Name: giraffe Distinctive Features: Known as the tallest terrestrial animal (Seeber, et. al., 2012), the Giraffa camelopardalis can reach a height between 14 and 20 feet. The giraffe also has the

Narative Essay

447 words - 2 pages kill.jpg and Image:Hyena arriving.jpg. The time stamp is Spotted Hyenas, Crocuta crocuta, at carcass of an ... Giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis), Masai Mara, Kenya Giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis), Masai Mara, Ken... I was brought up there and quickly adapted to the African culture and lifestyle. Kenya was really a very beautiful place. If no security problems would have been there than it would definitely be known as a heaven on earth. One memory that

The Magnificent Giraffes Essay

1890 words - 8 pages Why are giraffes magnificent creatures? For one they are the tallest creatures in the world, thanks to their long legs and neck (“Giraffe.” National para. 1). Second, there are areas where large animals have disappeared, but the giraffes have survived; researchers think it is because of their height (Maisano para. 30). Giraffe camelopardalis is the scientific name (“Giraffe.” Britannica para. 8). There is a lot to learn about giraffes, such as