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RE: Species & Giraffe necks



> Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
> Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
> Dept. of Geology              Email:tholtz@geol.umd.edu
> University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
> College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661

wrote:
> Oh, and by the way, to muddy the waters of yet another basic tenant of
> biology (in this case, homology), see Nick Soulunias' paper in the latest
> _Journal of Zoology_ (I'll post the whole citation later today).  Lots of
> nice stuff showing the decervicalization (or thoracization?) of the last
> cervical of _Giraffa_, and the intercalation of a new cervical somewhere
> between C2 and C6.  And all this AFTER the split between okapis and
> giraffes
> (and, for that matter, between _Giraffa_ and a lot of the other big
> extinct
> giraffids).

Speaking of defining species and _Giraffa_ I've just read an article in the
local paper stating that the necks of giraffes on Philippines are becoming
shorter and shorter from generation to generation. The giraffes were brought
to the Philippine island Caluit during the civil war in Kenya in 1977.
Different climate and environment (food?) changed the character and
appearance of giraffes. Among other anomalies shorter necks step out. Seems
like a very fast change - in just a couple of decades! Nevertheless, for
becoming a different species, there would be a whole lot of time necessary I
guess.


Berislav Krzic (Kržič)
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