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GIRAFFE NECKS AGAIN



Matt Bonnan wrote...

> My understanding of the Giraffe vert count was that it was still up
> for grabs, but maybe something has recently changed?

Recent work by Nick Solounias shows that T1 of _Giraffa_ is actually 
a thoracicised (??) C7 and that, somewhere along the way, an extra 
cervical has been neomorphed into the series. This seems fairly 
sensible given the location of the brachial plexus and characters of the 
vertebrae.. it is not a new idea and was proposed in the 1800s. The new 
work was published in _J. Zoology_ last year (I think) - Tom Holtz 
discussed it here on DML - but Solounias had earlier presented it at an 
SVP meeting (96 or 97). Funnily enough, when I asked Kent Stevens 
about giraffe cervicals he said "They have eight": at the time, he was 
totally unaware of Solounias' work.

"The best bat scientists spent years wondering how it was that humans 
could stand on their feet without passing out"

DARREN NAISH 
PALAEOBIOLOGY RESEARCH GROUP
School of Earth, Environmental & Physical Sciences
UNIVERSITY OF PORTSMOUTH
Burnaby Building
Burnaby Road                           email: darren.naish@port.ac.uk
Portsmouth UK                          tel: 01703 446718
P01 3QL