The wild teems with the unknown.


Researchers have identified two dwarf giraffes, the first such animals known to science. During routine surveys of endangered, troubled giraffe populations by the conservation group Giraffe Conservation Foundation, biologists found the two curious ungulates, one in Namibia and the other in Uganda. 


In research recently published in the journal BMC Research Notes, biologists conclude the giraffes have skeletal or cartilaginous disorders, a rare occurrence in most wild, free-ranging animal populations. They had particularly short legs, and one had a shorter than average neck.


The height of a typical giraffe is around 16 feet. But the giraffe found in central Namibia measured nine feet, four inches tall. That's quite short (for a giraffe). The giraffe, known as Nigel, was a mature adult animal. The other giraffe, in Uganda, who was measured as a sub-adult (meaning an independent and maturing animal), reached about eight and a half feet tall.


"Instances of wild animals with these types of skeletal dysplasias are extraordinarily rare," Michael Brown, a conservation biologist and lead author of the research said in a statement. "It's another interesting wrinkle in the unique story of giraffe in these diverse ecosystems."

Both giraffes apparently succeeded with diminished height for years, growing to either an adult or a maturing animal nearing adulthood. However, biologists haven't spotted the Ugandan giraffe since 2017 and the Namibian giraffe since July 2020. Indeed, their shorter legs may have hindered movement, making them more susceptible to fast predators, the researchers conclude.


Overall, giraffes are in a bad spot. Today, some 111,000 remain in the wild, but they've lost some 36 to 40 percent of their population over the last few decades.


"Giraffe are undergoing a silent extinction in Africa,"  Julian Fennessy, director of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, said in a statement. "The fact that this is the first description of dwarf giraffe is just another example of how little we know about these charismatic animals."


Resource: mashable.com


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Wow, scientists discovered dwarf giraffes

The wild teems with the unknown.


Researchers have identified two dwarf giraffes, the first such animals known to science. During routine surveys of endangered, troubled giraffe populations by the conservation group Giraffe Conservation Foundation, biologists found the two curious ungulates, one in Namibia and the other in Uganda. 


In research recently published in the journal BMC Research Notes, biologists conclude the giraffes have skeletal or cartilaginous disorders, a rare occurrence in most wild, free-ranging animal populations. They had particularly short legs, and one had a shorter than average neck.


The height of a typical giraffe is around 16 feet. But the giraffe found in central Namibia measured nine feet, four inches tall. That's quite short (for a giraffe). The giraffe, known as Nigel, was a mature adult animal. The other giraffe, in Uganda, who was measured as a sub-adult (meaning an independent and maturing animal), reached about eight and a half feet tall.


"Instances of wild animals with these types of skeletal dysplasias are extraordinarily rare," Michael Brown, a conservation biologist and lead author of the research said in a statement. "It's another interesting wrinkle in the unique story of giraffe in these diverse ecosystems."

Both giraffes apparently succeeded with diminished height for years, growing to either an adult or a maturing animal nearing adulthood. However, biologists haven't spotted the Ugandan giraffe since 2017 and the Namibian giraffe since July 2020. Indeed, their shorter legs may have hindered movement, making them more susceptible to fast predators, the researchers conclude.


Overall, giraffes are in a bad spot. Today, some 111,000 remain in the wild, but they've lost some 36 to 40 percent of their population over the last few decades.


"Giraffe are undergoing a silent extinction in Africa,"  Julian Fennessy, director of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, said in a statement. "The fact that this is the first description of dwarf giraffe is just another example of how little we know about these charismatic animals."


Resource: mashable.com


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